The emergency test was a success: for the first time, a space probe was able to change the orbit of an asteroid with a collision.
According to the US space agency NASA, the first intentional collision of a spacecraft with an asteroid was a success: The impact of the Dart probe in September reduced the orbit of the asteroid moon Dimorphos, NASA boss Bill Nelson said on Tuesday. Dimorphos’ older brother, Didymos, took eleven hours and 55 minutes to orbit, but now takes 11 hours and 23 minutes.
During the defense test in late September, an unmanned probe equipped with only a camera was carried to asteroid Dimorphos at a speed of about 6.6 kilometers per second. This was the first attempt to see if it was possible to change the trajectory of an asteroid in this way.
According to NASA’s calculations, Dimorphos, a moon of the asteroid Didymos with a diameter of about 160 meters, currently poses no threat to Earth – and the mission is designed so that the asteroid does not pose a threat. Investigation has hit it. From the estimated $330 million mission, NASA hoped to learn how to protect Earth from approaching asteroids.