The DART mission was successful
The DART mission, Double Asteroid Redirect Test, was successful: we managed to change the course of an asteroid. We told you a few weeks ago about a new particular NASA mission, which had as its objective the deviation of the course of an asteroid, in order to prevent any future threats from space. Just like in science fiction films, one of the possible solutions hypothesized for this emergency is the collision between a spacecraft and the asteroid, with the aim of changing its course.
And so here is the birth of the DART mission, which on September 26 saw the crash between a NASA vehicle and the asteroid Dimorphos, with a diameter of about 160 meters. Specifically, the goal was to change the rotation time of the asteroid around its older brother, Didymos, by at least 73 seconds.
The impact of the NASA vehicle changed Dimorphos’ orbit by more than 20 minutes, which is why the mission is to be considered hugely successful, even well beyond the rosiest expectations.
This means that the impact with a spacecraft could actually be a real solution if our planet is threatened by an asteroid, even if in that case the situation would be much more complex to analyze and solve. First of all, the size of the asteroid should be evaluated to understand the size of the spacecraft to be sacrificed, secondly, it would be necessary to act well in advance. On a macroscopic level, it could in fact take years to change the course of a very large asteroid to the point of preventing impact with the Earth. However, the possibility of having an ace up our sleeve in the very unlikely event that we find ourselves faced with this event leaves us sleeping slightly more peacefully. We just have to focus on how to safeguard the planet from internal threats, which at this moment seem to be much more serious and above all real!