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DART Explainer: Everything You Need To Know About NASA's Mission To Redirect That Asteroid

The DART Mission's target asteroid is not a threat to Earth before, during or after the impact event.

NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is the first mission to demonstrate deflecting an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact. This method involves deliberately colliding with a target asteroid in order to change its path. This technique could be used to deflect an Earth-threatening asteroid in the future, should one ever be discovered. Check out the video below for a quick primer on everything you need to know about the mission.


This clip was posted to TikTok by space expert @thegalacticgal.

"DART’s target is the binary, near-Earth asteroid system Didymos, composed of the roughly 780-meter (2,560-foot)-diameter Didymos and the smaller, approximately 160-meter (530-foot)-size Dimorphos, which orbits Didymos," NASA says on its Website. "DART will impact Dimorphos to change its orbit within the binary system, and the DART Investigation Team will compare the results of DART’s kinetic impact with Dimorphos to highly detailed computer simulations of kinetic impacts on asteroids."

"Doing so will evaluate the effectiveness of this mitigation approach and assess how best to apply it to future planetary defense scenarios," NASA continues, "as well as how accurate the computer simulations are and how well they reflect the behavior of a real asteroid."

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