New simulations of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) campaign suggest that instead of leaving the crater behind, the DART impactor could significantly cripple a small asteroid that would collide with it.
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test is a great goal that will test the effectiveness of using a “kinetic impactor” to divert an asteroid toward Earth. (“Kinetic impactor,” in this case, means hitting a spacecraft on a rock. , Dimorphos, September.
The DART will affect Dimorphos at about 4.1 miles per second (6.6 km / s), or 14,760 mph (23,760 kph), which scientists hope will cause the moonlet’s orbital speed change by a fraction of a millimeter per second, just enough. Its orbit around a giant asteroid. Although Dimorphos and Didymos are not a threat to Earth, they are perfect students to explore the concept of kinetic impactor so that in the event of an asteroid found in a collision with our planet, NASA would have a practical choice to protect the Earth. It is the first dedicated mission to save the institutional land.
In new experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Bern and the National Research Center (NCCR) Planets, researchers devised a new model of shock waves and a cratering process that would follow the DART effect. Unlike previous simulations, this model has considered that Dimorphos may not have a solid core but a distinct, fragmented structure.
This new model suggests that the DART goal could deliver more to Dimorphos than expected and possibly change its course more strongly than previously.
Contrary to what one might think of when photographing the sky, direct evidence from space technology such as the Japanese Space Association (JAXA) Hayabusa2 study shows that an asteroid can have a very loose internal structure – similar to a pile of debris – combined with gravitational forces and small cohesive forces, “said the author. Research Sabina Raducan, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bern, said in a statement.
A study of the new DART simulations and their effects was published June 1 in The Planetary Science Journal.