Nasa aims to collide Dart with Didymos B at 6.6km/s

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After launch the Dart craft will take around 14 months to reach the Didymos asteroids in late Sept 2022 – around 11m km from Earth

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With the aid of an onboard camera and autonomous navigation software the Dart spacecraft crashes itself in to the Didymos B moonlet at a speed of approximately 6.6km/s

Didymos B

160m diameter

Didymos A

780m diameter

Post-impact

orbit

3

Original orbit

The collision is expected to change the speed of the moonlet’s orbit by less than 1% – but this would change the period of orbit by several minutes

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If approved by ESA the Hera craft would be launched after the impact to capture images and data post-collision

 

1

3

After launch the Dart craft will take around 14 months to reach the Didymos asteroids in late Sept 2022 – around 11m km from Earth

The collision is expected to change the speed of the moonlet’s orbit by less than 1% – but this would change the period of orbit by several minutes

Didymos A

780m diameter

Original orbit

Post-impact

orbit

Didymos B

160m diameter

2

With the aid of an onboard camera and autonomous navigation software the Dart spacecraft crashes itself in to the Didymos B moonlet at a speed of approximately 6.6km/s

4

If approved by ESA the Hera craft would be launched after the impact to capture images and data post-collision