The Crash that Changed History

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Joseph Sapp

First live sight of Dimorphous through the dart space crafts camera.

Joseph sapp , Staff Writer

When you think of planetary defense, you probably think about giant fleets of galactic warships. Maybe, you’re thinking about an elite team of soldiers equipped with highly advanced armor and weapons. Well, we haven’t made it there yet, but as of September 26, 2022, at 7:14 P.M. EDT the first attempt at planetary defense through an asteroid deflection experiment occurred. This experiment is known as the double asteroid deflection test, or DART for short. The DART experiment is NASA’s way of demonstrating the effects and abilities of kinetic impactor technology. Kinetic impactor technology is the process of sending one or many rockets at high speeds toward an object in an attempt to knock the object off course or alter its trajectory.
The DART spacecraft was launched on the space x Falcon 9 rocket on the 24 of November 2021 at 1:21 a.m EST. The rocket was launched from the Vandenberg space force base in California. The DART Experiment was tested on an asteroid known as Dimorphous, which orbits around its large parent asteroid known as Didymos. This trip took 306 days to get from the Vandenberg space force base in California to collide with Dimorphous. The DART rocket hit Dimorphous at a speed of 15,000 miles per hour. The DART spacecraft collided with Dimorphous with a force of 4961.1665467162 Jules.

Determine the effectiveness of the DART experiment will take months of research and watching Dimorphous.
There are many reasons for advancements in planetary defense. These reasons could be anything from asteroid impacts and space junk to extraterrestrial visits. So far from what we know, there have only been space junk and asteroids visiting our planet. There have been multiple occurrences in the past where asteroids have crashed into the Earth. These impacts have devastated ecosystems and even cause life on earth to go dormant for centuries. Even though we aren’t developing high-tech weaponry to protect from extraterrestrial invasions, we are working on developing ways to protect our planet for many years to come.