Floor-based telescopes are key to DART asteroid mission success

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For NASA’s DART spacecraft, the drama occurs in area — however mission success depends on telescopes again on Earth.

On Monday (Sept. 26), the Double Asteroid Redirection Check (DART) spacecraft will slam right into a small area rock known as Dimorphos — on goal, at a staggering 4 miles (6.6 kilometers) per second. The train comes within the identify of planetary protection, which goals to guard human civilization from any giant asteroid that could be on a collision course. For the mission to succeed, scientists must measure precisely how a lot the orbit of Dimorphos round its bigger companion, Didymos, accelerates. And the DART spacecraft will not be in any form to make that measurement itself, so mission personnel are counting on ground-based telescopes to trace the aftermath of affect.



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