The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that the orbit of the asteroid Dimorphos, which was hit by the spacecraft launched as part of the Double Asteroid Orientation Test (DART), changed.
The Double Asteroid Orientation Test ( DART ) , the first experiment to test a “planetary defense method” against near-Earth objects, conducted in collaboration with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA ) and the Johns Hopkins University Department of Applied Physics, has achieved its goal. In a written statement made by NASA, it was reported that the orbit of the asteroid Dimorphos, which was hit by the spacecraft launched by NASA as part of the DART mission, on September 27, changed.
NASA confirmed that the impact of the spacecraft changed Dimorphos’ orbit around Didymos by 32 minutes, shortening the 11 hour 55 minute orbit to 11 hours and 23 minutes, making measurements using a range of space and earth-based telescopes. Before the collision, NASA had estimated the minimum successful orbital period change for Dimorphos to be 73 seconds or more. Early data shows that DART exceeds this minimum benchmark by more than 25 times.
“This mission demonstrates how serious NASA is about defending Earth,” NASA President Bill Nelson said in a statement.
Lori Glaze, Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, said in a statement, “This result is an important step towards understanding the full impact of DART’s impact with the target asteroid. “As new data comes in every day, astronomers will be able to better assess whether and how a mission like DART could be used in the future to help protect Earth from colliding with an asteroid.”
FIRST PLANETARY DEFENSE EXPERIMENT
NASA launched the DART mission in November 2021 to determine whether it was possible to prevent large asteroids from hitting Earth. Launched within the framework of the mission, the spacecraft crashed into an asteroid called Dimorphos, 11 million kilometers away from Earth, at around 02:15 CEST on September 27. DART is the first experiment to test a method of planetary defense against near-Earth objects.