7 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT NASA’S DART MISSION"While the asteroid poses no threat to Earth, this is the world's first test of the kinetic impact technique, using a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid for planetary defense," NASA said Thursday.In November 2021, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched with DART from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 4 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Nov.
23, 2021, carrying NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Mission spacecraft. (NASA / FOX Weather) Now, 10 months later, DART will catch up with the asteroid by executing three trajectory correction maneuvers over the next three weeks.
Scientists say that each maneuver will reduce the margin of error for the spacecraft’s required trajectory to impact the asteroid known as Dimorphos.NASA says that after the final maneuver on Sept.
25, approximately 24 hours before impact, the navigation team will know the position of Dimorphos within 2 kilometers. From there, DART will be on its own to autonomously guide itself to collision with the out-of-this-world space rock.This image of the light from asteroid Didymos and its orbiting moonlet Dimorphos is a composite of 243 images taken by the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO) on July 27, 2022. (NASA JPL DART Navigation Team / FO DART recently got its first look at Didymos, the double-asteroid system that includes its target, Dimorphos.An image taken from 20 million miles away showed the Didymos system to be quite faint.