The DART mission was to change the course of the asteroid Demorphos relative to its larger neighbor, Didymus, which orbited 11 hours before the collision. and 55 minutes. Astronomers used ground-based telescopes to measure how much Demorphos’ orbit changed after the impact.
Dimorphos currently takes 11 hours for the cycle of Didymus. and 23 minutes. The DART spacecraft changed its orbit by 32 minutes. Initially, astronomers expected DART to be successful if the path was shortened by 10 minutes.
“A breakthrough moment to defend humanity.” This is how we defend ourselves against asteroids
In about four years, the European Space Agency’s HERA probe is also expected to perform detailed studies of Dimorfos and Didymos, focusing on the crater left by the ship’s collision and the precise measurement of Dimorfos’ mass.
NASA believes that such missions in the future may allow to alter the course of asteroids that would threaten security on Earth. “For the first time in history, humanity has changed the orbit of a planetary body,” said Laurie Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Division.
“This is a historic moment for planetary defense and humanity,” NASA CEO Bill Nelson added.
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