Planetary Defense System: NASA Plans To Test New Asteroid Deflection Technique In Space

NASA is moving forward with a plan to develop a refrigerator-sized spacecraft capable of deflecting asteroids and preventing them from colliding with Earth.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, is being designed and would be built and managed by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. NASA approved a move from concept development to the preliminary design phase on June 23.

DART would use what is known as a kinetic impactor technique — striking the asteroid to shift its orbit. The impact would change the speed of a threatening asteroid by a small fraction of its total velocity, but by doing so well before the predicted impact, this small nudge will add up over time to a big shift of the asteroid’s path away from Earth…

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