NASA Spacecraft Becomes Earth’s Shield from Asteroids

SOLOPOS.COM – NASA sent a DART spacecraft using a Falcon 9 rocket. (Liputan6.com/NASA).

Solopos.com, JAKARTA — In order to protect Earth from asteroids, NASA will launch a spacecraft in 2022. The goal of this craft is to destroy itself when it hits an asteroid.

That way this plane will be the Earth’s shield in the face of asteroids that pass near Earth.

Quoting The Verge, Wednesday (11/24/2021), this mission is called DART or Double Asteroid Redirect Mission.

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The plane is trying to steer an asteroid in space. The idea is simple: hit an alien object moving at about 15,000 miles per hour. Transferring its momentum to the asteroid.

This collision is considered to be able to deflect the asteroid from its original path. Delivered, DART targeting does not pose any threat to Earth.

Using DART, NASA wanted to see if an attempt to hit the asteroid would change its course so that in the long term, the asteroid would be streaking near Earth instead of hitting it.

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This kind of technique was not considered 30 years ago, but with advances in technology, it has become an option in saving Earth from an asteroid collision.

“We have the capability, with today’s technology, to at least make an asteroid disaster preventable,” said Tim Statler, NASA DART Program Scientist.

NASA believes that only 40 percent of the asteroids that pass near Earth are larger than 140 meters. These asteroids have the potential to destroy Earth in the event of a collision.

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Earlier in 2013, a meteor the size of a house exploded over the skies of Chelyabinsk, Russia, without warning. This explosion was equivalent to an explosion caused by 400,000 tonnes of TNT and injuring more than 1,600 people.

The Chelyabinsk meteor is estimated to have measured only 180 meters or 60 feet and caused massive damage. That’s why NASA wants to find asteroids that are between 140-150 meters wide.

“If the impact [tabrakan] happen in a populated area or a technology hub, it can be very severe, it can even have a worldwide effect,” he said.

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