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NASA's New Mission.


LukeSkywatcher
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OK, so we have all (or maybe not) heard about NASA's next mission to send a probe,rocket,machine,craft into space with the aim of potentially knocking an asteroid off course, if it was Earth bound.

Don't worry, it's not on course to hit Earth. 

Apparently it will slam into the asteroid at 17,000 mph. 

What's your opinion?. Possible, Plausible or Failure?.

 

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Having played plenty of Kerbal space program and being at least novice-level familiar with the topic i can say that this will definitely work.

Thing is, 17 000 mph is nothing and the projectile they are using (i think it was an anti-tank round if i remember correctly?) is very light. Physics will win and the asteroid will accelerate probably fractions of a mm/s^2. If this is measurable it will be a success.

Its all about F=m*a. In this case the force and mass of the projectile are tiny while the asteroid is large=acceleration will be very small.

In Kerbal space program i have slammed several hundred ton-mass spacecraft at orbital speeds to comets and they simply do not care. The orbit is virtually unchanged because of the insane masses involved. So a realistic significant redirection is not going to happen any time soon but this will be an interesting real world test and proof of concept.

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It’s just a proof on concept. They are hoping to change the speed of the object by a fraction of a millimetre per second  which should alter  Dimorphos orbit around Didymos.

Have to laugh at the media talking about smashing an asteroid instead of just a tiny nudge.

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Edited by johninderby
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The Dart mission is an interesting one, they hope to at most change Dimorphos' orbit by 1%.
And as already said its a test and proof of concept mission.
Bargain bucket one as well at £240 Million.

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The real blast would of course be if they manage to nudge an asteroid out of its orbit, just fo find out that it will smash into earth next time around. Oops.

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