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What is NASA's DART mission? Details here in pics

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) was launch... more

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.It is the first Kinetic Impactor Method of planetary defence, where a DART spacecraft will be colliding with the asteroid Dimorphos. (AFP)
1/7The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.It is the first Kinetic Impactor Method of planetary defence, where a DART spacecraft will be colliding with the asteroid Dimorphos. (AFP)
Data obtained from DART’s crash will be compared to the data from various computer simulations run by scientists to ascertain whether this kinetic impactor method will remain a viable option in case of an actual threatening asteroid. (AFP)
2/7Data obtained from DART’s crash will be compared to the data from various computer simulations run by scientists to ascertain whether this kinetic impactor method will remain a viable option in case of an actual threatening asteroid. (AFP)
The Kinetic Impactor Method involves sending one or more large, high-speed spacecraft into the path of an approaching near-earth object. This could deflect the asteroid into a different trajectory, steering it away from the Earth's orbital path.
3/7The Kinetic Impactor Method involves sending one or more large, high-speed spacecraft into the path of an approaching near-earth object. This could deflect the asteroid into a different trajectory, steering it away from the Earth's orbital path.
Scientists don’t yet know the exact mass of Dimorphos but it is estimated to be around five billion kilograms. The DART spacecraft weighs around 600 kilograms.
4/7Scientists don’t yet know the exact mass of Dimorphos but it is estimated to be around five billion kilograms. The DART spacecraft weighs around 600 kilograms.
DART is a low-cost spacecraft. It has two solar arrays and uses hydrazine propellant for manoeuvring the spacecraft. Its aim is to test the newly developed technology that would allow a spacecraft to crash into an asteroid and change its course.
5/7DART is a low-cost spacecraft. It has two solar arrays and uses hydrazine propellant for manoeuvring the spacecraft. Its aim is to test the newly developed technology that would allow a spacecraft to crash into an asteroid and change its course.
It also carries about 10 kg of xenon which will be used to demonstrate the agency’s new thrusters called NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster–Commercial (NEXT-C) in space. NEXT-C gridded ion thruster system provides a combination of performance and spacecraft integration capabilities that make it uniquely suited for deep space robotic missions.
6/7It also carries about 10 kg of xenon which will be used to demonstrate the agency’s new thrusters called NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster–Commercial (NEXT-C) in space. NEXT-C gridded ion thruster system provides a combination of performance and spacecraft integration capabilities that make it uniquely suited for deep space robotic missions.
The spacecraft carries a high-resolution imager called Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation (DRACO). Images from DRACO will be sent to Earth in real-time and will help study the impact site and surface of Dimorphos (the target asteroid).
7/7The spacecraft carries a high-resolution imager called Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation (DRACO). Images from DRACO will be sent to Earth in real-time and will help study the impact site and surface of Dimorphos (the target asteroid).
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