DART is said to intentionally collide with Dimorphos

Australia will be responsible for the final moments of NASA’s daring mission to smash an asteroid.

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft, known as the DART, is scheduled to deliberately collide with the asteroid Dimorphos, about the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza, at 9.15am Australian time on Tuesday.

An illustration of NASA's DART spacecraft (top right) on course to collide with the asteroid Dimorphos (left).

An illustration of NASA’s DART spacecraft (top right) on course to collide with the asteroid Dimorphos (left). Recognition:AP

DART is a test of NASA’s planetary defense plans. The hope is that an asteroid in danger of hitting Earth could be deflected by a spacecraft impact.

“That is a Armageddon, Deep Impact and Don’t look up all rolled into one,” said Glen Nagle, spokesman for the CSIRO-managed Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.

“We want to have a better chance than the dinosaurs did 65 million years ago.”

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CSIRO engineers will also use the 35 meter antenna at New Norcia in Western Australia to monitor the final moments of DART.

They will be responsible for sending any final orders from NASA, but as the vehicle approaches the asteroid it will switch to internal guidance.

There will be little for those in the Canberra control room to do other than watch the video feed.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/australia-to-control-asteroid-strike-craft-s-last-moments-20220926-p5bl5q.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national DART is said to intentionally collide with Dimorphos

Joel McCord

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