Why in the News?
Recently, one research paper was published by well-known scientists Melamed and Heinsheimer in which they introduced a concept of material ejection to gradually alter an asteroid’s trajectory; that concept is compared with the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) Mission of NASA.
WHAT IS NASA’s DART Mission?
- DART is a spacecraft intended to strike an asteroid as a test of technology.
- DART is a technology test program for a planetary defense that aims to stop dangerous asteroids from striking Earth.
- The kinetic impactor method, which can alter an asteroid’s motion in space, will be shown for the first time with DART.
- The target of the DART demonstration is the binary near-Earth asteroid Didymos (65803).
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Didymos is the twin-asteroid system which is a binary near-Earth asteroid.
- Using advanced autonomous navigation algorithms and an onboard camera called DRACO, the DART spacecraft will purposefully crash into the moonlet at a speed of about 6.6 km/s to achieve the kinetic impact deflection.
- The impact will cause the moonlet’s orbital period to shift by a few minutes, altering its speed by a mere 1%, but this will still allow for observation and measurement of the moonlet using Earthbound telescopes.
- To supply the solar energy required for DART’s electric propulsion system, Roll Out Solar Arrays (ROSA) will be deployed after the project is begun.
- The DART spacecraft’s in-space propulsion will include a demonstration of the NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster Commercial (NEXT-C) solar electric propulsion system.
- NASA developed NEXT-C, a next-generation system based on the Dawn spacecraft propulsion system.
- DART might demonstrate the next generation of ion engine technology and gain a great deal of mission timeline flexibility by using electric propulsion, which could have implications for future NASA missions.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
- DART is a technology test program for planetary defense that aims to stop comets from striking Earth.
- The DART mission will mark the first instance of the kinetic impactor technology being used to alter a comet’s motion in space.
c.Both 1 and 2 only
d.Neither 1 nor 2
Ans. d.Neither 1 nor 2
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