DART hits the target

The NASA DART mission has completed its journey to collide into an asteroid. The car size space craft zeroed in on asteroid Dimorphos, which is the moonlet for asteroid Didymos, and hit it just after 7:15 pm ET. Everything worked as expected with breathtaking photos received showing it hit it’s target.

Images courtesy of NASA Dart Impact project – live replay

The next steps are to determine how much the asteroid’s orbit was altered. Once determined, scientists should be able to understand what is necessary to build a planetary defense system against potential space objects coming towards Earth.

American ingenuity and exceptionalism are on full display.

Fun Fact of the Day

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Around 10:15 AM ET, signal-acquisition from the New Horizon’s spacecraft is expected to begin followed by the first download of science data from the flyby of Ultima Thule, some 9 hours prior. It takes a little over 6 hours for the signal to arrive at NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN).

The link includes details of where to watch and the timeline of press events for this historic mission.

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