You are probably aware that a planned NASA mission to test its capability to defend our planet from an asteroid that could hit us could be causing the planet’s first artificial meteor shower ever.
Fox News just reported that the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft’s mission is to slam into the smaller of the two Didymos asteroids as they pass within about 6.8 million miles of the Earth. This will be happening in the fall of 2022.
Self destruct mission aims to test the ability to deflect an asteroid
NASA said the $69 million self-destruct mission is the first one that is aimed at testing its ability to deflect a space rock by sending a spacecraft into it at high speeds.
The resulting impact would blast material from the surface of the space rock, even if just a small amount of it. This would be close enough to our planet that will eventually be drawn towards the ground, says a March 23 study that’s been published in the Planetary Science Journal.
Fox News also made sure to reveal that only a bit of the total ejected material which is called ejecta would actually make it through the atmosphere over a few thousand years – according to the latest data in the study that we mentioned above.
An opportunity to see the asteroid’s makeup
A big part of it will reportedly remain in the gravitational pull of Didymos. Some material could also present a hazard to future space vehicles says the author of the study, Dr. Paul Wiegert, an astronomy and physics professor at the University of Western Ontario.
Fox News notes that “a little bit of ejecta, the bits moving fastest after DART’s impact, could reach Earth’s sky relatively quickly and give scientists an opportunity to see the asteroid’s makeup.”
The study concludes by saying that as the particles are burning while entering the atmosphere, experts could use the color of the light that they would generate in order to find what exact materials were present there.
We suggest that you head over to the study and check out more details.