DART Mission To Protect Us From Dangerous Asteroids
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The Dart spacecraft – an acronym that stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test – took off on November 24 from the base of Vanderberg in California with a Falcon 9 rocket of Space X. In the following hours, the vehicle deployed its solar panels, heading toward the encounter with the double asteroid Didymos that will take place between late September and early October 2022.
Didymos is an Apollo-class near-Earth asteroid. Discovered in 1996, it is an average of 246 million kilometers from the Sun, but given its high orbital eccentricity, it may come close to Earth’s orbit. In 2003, a small satellite was identified around Didymos and given the name Dimorphos.
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