Wednesday January 30, 2019

Los Alamos Wants To Slam a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid

Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is famous for its work on the Manhattan Project and other ventures related to national security, intends to work with NASA to test asteroid deflection strategies. According to the YouTube video they just uploaded, the organizations want to hit Didymoon, a small asteroid orbiting a larger one, with a probe, and see what happens. "DART" is expected to launch in 2020, and reach the asteroid sometime in 2022. Check out the plan in the video below:

What would we do if an asteroid was on course to hit Earth? Crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid could deflect it off its orbital path. The spacecraft DART will be tested on asteroid Didymoon. DART will crash into Didymoon at 6/kms and will shift its orbital path a fraction of 1%. The results will provide insight into future asteroid deflection.