DART mission

• On November 24, at around 11.50 am (IST), NASA will launch the agency’s first planetary defense test mission named the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).

About:

• The main aim of the mission is to test the newly developed technology that would allow a spacecraft to crash into an asteroid and change its course. The spacecraft will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

• The target of the spacecraft is a small moonlet called Dimorphos (Greek for “two forms”). It is about 160-metre in diameter and the spacecraft is expected to collide when it is 11 million kilometres away from Earth.

• The target of the spacecraft is a small moonlet called Dimorphos (Greek for “two forms”). It is about 160-metre in diameter and the spacecraft is expected to collide when it is 11 million kilometres away from Earth.

• Dimorphos orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos (Greek for “twin”) which has a diameter of 780 metres.

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Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech

Prelims level: DART mission

Mains level: Key highlights about the mission

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