Published: 29th November 2021
What The FAQ: What is NASA's DART mission all about and how will it keep us safe in the future?
DART, which was launched on November 24 is a joint project between NASA and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)
NASA and SpaceX are throwing a DART. Not literally, obviously. But here, we are talking about the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology that will potentially defend Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards. Here's everything about it.
What was the DART reference in the beginning all about?
That's what the mission is called. DART stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). It is a joint project between NASA and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).
And what role does SpaceX play here?
DART was launched using SpaceX's launch vehicle Falcon. It was also fueled at the SpaceX payload Processing Facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
What is DART all about?
The mission is aimed at testing a method of planetary defence against near-Earth objects (NEOs). NASA had approved the project to start the final design and assembly phase in August 2018. It was launched on November 24, 2021.
And why is it important?
A large number of scientists estimate that 25,000 large asteroids are in the Solar System. Until now, surveys have detected about 8,000 of them. Stating this, NASA officials think it is imperative to develop an effective plan should a near-Earth object threaten the blue planet.
READ ALSO : What The FAQ: What is NASA's DART Mission to crash a spacecraft in space all about?
What do NASA and Elon Musk think about this?
Expressing success on the mission, NASA tweeted, "Asteroids have been hitting the Earth for billions of years. Now, we begin to make it stop." Elon Musk, known for his quirky tweets, said, "Avenge the dinosaurs," hinting that there may be dinosaurs in outer space. Well, who knows?