American Space Agency NASA has built a spacecraft which will intentionally crash into a small asteroid named Dimorphos. Although the asteroid poses no threat to Earth, but it has been chosen to help prove that dangerous incoming rocks can be deflected by intentionally crashing something into them, according to a report by Sky News.
On September 26, the Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) spacecraft will strike an asteroid not far away from Earth like a battering ram. The goal of the project is to shield the planet from potential asteroid collisions, the Fox Weather.com said.
The space agency shared a post on Twitter on Wednesday and said, “Taking the scenic route. As our DART Mission cruises towards its intentional impact with Dimorphos, an asteroid moonlet which poses no threat to Earth, the spacecraft’s imager has captured a picture of Jupiter and its four largest moons.”
Taking the scenic route. 📸
As our #DARTMission cruises towards its intentional impact with Dimorphos, an asteroid moonlet which poses no threat to Earth, the spacecraft’s imager has captured a picture of Jupiter and its four largest moons. Learn more: https://t.co/l34qt7Ql1fpic.twitter.com/6eWToVmZS8
— NASA (@NASA) September 20, 2022
According to a release from the space agency, the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation, or DRACO, aboard NASA’s DART mission has taken hundreds of photographs of stars as it heads toward its much-awaited Sept. 26 collisions with the binary asteroid Didymos.
The images provide the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) team, which is in charge of the project for NASA, with the information required to assist continuing spacecraft testing and simulations leading up to the spacecraft’s kinetic crash with Dimorphos, the moon of Didymos.
According to Space.com, Nancy Chabot, DART coordination lead at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Research Laboratory, said in a press conference on September 12, “The DRACO images, I just want to stress, are going to be pretty spectacular.”
“You’re going to be coming into an asteroid that nobody’s ever seen before,” Chabot continued. “You’re going to see things that are tens of centimeters in size for that final image and then it’s going to cut off. I think that’s going to be pretty cool,” she added.