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DART: Double Asteroid Redirection Test


Ultimate Steve
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https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/dart

NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Mission, or DART, is now going to happen! Hopefully! I think that's what the announcement was for, anyway, maybe it's been planned far earlier and this is the first I've heard of it, but there are all of a sudden dozens of articles, so I'll start the thread.

Scheduled to launch in 2020 or 2021 as a secondary payload on a military or communications satellite launching to geosynchronous orbit, DART will be a small space probe weighing about 500kg, which will have an ion engine and roll out solar arrays. In October 2022, it will approach the Didymos system, a binary system of asteroids with one 800m in diameter and the other 150m. Then it will crash into the smaller one at about 6 kilometers per second to test how much the collision will alter its orbit, which will be observed with ground based telescopes. It is hoped that this will evaluate the impact method of asteroid redirection in case an asteroid is found on a collision course with Earth.

It's about time we tested something like this, even though it will barely change the velocity of the asteroid!

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On 1/5/2019 at 7:31 PM, Ultimate Steve said:

It's about time we tested something like this

Well, it's not the first time we've done it.  Not that we've done it a whole lot -- we're still a long way away from assessing kinetic deflection in general, and I'm in favor of this test.  But it's not our first time.

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=3910

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1 hour ago, Nikolai said:

Well, it's not the first time we've done it.  Not that we've done it a whole lot -- we're still a long way away from assessing kinetic deflection in general, and I'm in favor of this test.  But it's not our first time.

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=3910

That was more scientific observation based, rather than redirection based, whereas this is focused almost fully on redirection, although you have a point.

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17 hours ago, Nikolai said:

it's not our first time.

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=3910

This one is more massive. It's like comparing shooting a car vs. colliding a car with a small bus.

Though I do wonder whether this mission will still count as "peaceful".

Edited by YNM
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21 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

That was more scientific observation based, rather than redirection based, whereas this is focused almost fully on redirection, although you have a point.

Of course; especially when scientific studies are rare, difficult, and costly, they don't often focus on just one result.  I didn't mean to imply that Deep Impact's studies were done primarily to study the diversion created by the impact itself.  And I'm still in favor of this test.

6 hours ago, YNM said:

This one is more massive. It's like comparing shooting a car vs. colliding a car with a small bus.

My statement was about existence, not variety.  But if we're going to get into the nitty-gritty of comparison...

Deep Impact's impactor and DART are of the same order of magnitude (372 kg vs. ~500 kg).  Deep Impact's impactor hit with a lot more velocity (10.2 km/s vs. ~6 km/s), and thus imparted more momentum to its target (though that, too, is of the same order of magnitude).  Depending on which estimates you go with, though, Tempel-1 is somewhere around 10,000 to 100,000 times as massive as "Didymoon", and 100 billion to 1 trillion times as much as the impactor (whereas "Didymoon" masses "only" somewhere around 10 million times as much as the impactor).  A more apt comparison would be, perhaps, chucking a tennis ball at an An-255 during takeoff versus chucking that ball at the Great Pyramid of Giza.

But these are trifles.  I'm eager to see the results.

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  • 3 years later...

Since I didn't see any posts discussing it, and since making a new post about the same thing would constitute more junk for the mods to clean up, I'm reviving this 3-years-old thread.

https://www.space.com/dart-asteroid-impact-crash-what-time

Does anyone have any predictions or things they'd like to discuss regarding DART? The impact is going to happen about 15 hours from now, you can follow the time here:
https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/launch?month=09&day=26&hour=19&min=14&p0=2121&font=cursive

Edited by intelliCom
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7 hours ago, intelliCom said:

Does anyone have any predictions or things they'd like to discuss regarding DART?

Based on what happened at Bennu, I'm expecting a big cloud of debris, some of it faster than Dimorphos's escape velocity. Otherwise, I expect basic physics to work normally.

Here's NASA's scheduled livestream (starting in about 6 hours):

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Looking like we can expect Webb and Hubble images at some point! 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/news.yahoo.com/amphtml/webb-telescope-being-aimed-asteroid-090108605.html

images of the Dart mission that will be captured by JWST, and the Hubble space telescope, could shed more light on the physics of the spacecraft’s impact with the asteroid, and also on the asteroid’s debris post-collision." 

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Crazy that the spacecraft has been cruising toward its destination for 9 months and its target is only now coming into view.

6 minutes ago, grawl said:

Is that white spot the asteroid ? 

1h to impact !

Dang, I hope it will be more than 2 frames with a good view of the asteroid.

The white spot is Didymos, the primary asteroid. The camera has now picked up Dimorphos, the target moon, but it's too dim to be seen for us.

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42 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Anyone know when we will get pictures from the cubesat that is observing the impact?

Isn't that what they're livestreaming? Hopefully nobody was ... negligent? ... enough to put a camera on the craft that's about to be smashed to bits.

EDIT: It's not, they did, but they're not; see below.

Edited by HebaruSan
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2 minutes ago, ExtremeSquared said:

Guy on the Dart Livestream:

You don't want to blow up an asteroid. The pieces will still hit earth. You don't want to miss a thing.

I refuse to believe this wasn't an overt reference to that awful scene in Armageddon with the animal crackers.

That one scene is probably the reason I refuse to watch that film.

You can sort of make out Dimorphos as a little dot.

2 minutes ago, HebaruSan said:

Isn't that what they're livestreaming? Hopefully nobody was ... negligent? ... enough to put a camera on the craft that's about to be smashed to bits.

I think they're livestreaming DART's camera

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3 minutes ago, Minmus Taster said:

You can sort of make out Dimorphos as a little dot.

2129440.jpg

Finally visible.

3 minutes ago, Minmus Taster said:
5 minutes ago, HebaruSan said:

Isn't that what they're livestreaming? Hopefully nobody was ... negligent? ... enough to put a camera on the craft that's about to be smashed to bits.

I think they're livestreaming DART's camera

They need a camera for targeting, so they're using the targeting camera to provide the live feed back in real-time. That's what we're watching.

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