NASA to relive most Kerbal Mun landings by throwing spaceship at rock

NASA has an idea to stop potentially hazardous asteroids heading towards Earth. It involves sending spacecraft at them until their destruction.
Although most Kerbal Space Program players are familiar with the idea of crashing spacecraft into large rocks, NASA is doing this intentionally. DART stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Testing (thanks to Live Science) and is expected to be the first demonstration of the use of a kinetic impactor to alter the motion of an asteroid.

NASA has chosen to fly a test flight by aiming at an asteroid called Didymos. It isn’t even close to hitting Earth. The main body of Didymos doesn’t contain the space rock that NASA hopes to destroy. Didymos also has a moonlet (or secondary orbiting body), which is approximately 160m in size and located one kilometre from Didymos.

NASA claims that this size is more likely to be an asteroid that poses a serious threat to Earth than Didymos’ 780-metre size. This is due to the larger number of smaller rocks out there. They will attempt to knock the smaller moonlet off its course.

However, the DART spacecraft will only knock the moonlet from its orbit around its main body by a small amount.

NASA believes that NASA will be able to detect the orbital change of the moonlet’s orbit by telescopes on Earth.

If it’s a success, we may have a plan of action in case an asteroid ends up on a path towards the pale blue dot that we call home.

The DART launch window will open on November 24, 2021. After that, the rocket will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It will then propel itself to the asteroid throughout the year, eventually smashing into the surface around September 2022.

Who wants to attempt Kerbal’s mission? Or, you could even take an asteroid out of space and fly it back to Earth just for the fun of it.

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Philip King

About the Author: Philip King

I am working as a Researcher at The Daily News Global. I love to learn about the latest Gaming news in our world and share it with all our readers so our readers don't have to worry about it.

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