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NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test live: DART successfully crashes into Dimorphos


Scientists don’t yet know the exact mass of Dimorphos but it is estimated to be around five billion kilograms. Meanwhile, the DART spacecraft will weigh about 570 kilograms when it crashes into the asteroid. Nancy Chabot, DART coordination lead at NASA compared the collision to a “golf cart crashing into the great pyramid,” during a press conference on September 12. 

The crash is intended to be a “small nudge” that will change the position of the asteroid ever so slightly. In the event of an asteroid that actually poses a threat to Earth, this collision will have to happen years ahead of time. Over the years, the small change in position will add up to a large deviation.

Artist’s illustration of the Didymos system, LICIACube and DART spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben)


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