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DART mission.


Greymouser
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Surprised this has not been mentioned here, it is going live in four days. ( Unless I have missed it... )

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DART is a spacecraft designed to impact an asteroid as a test of technology. DART’s target asteroid is NOT a threat to Earth. This asteroid system is a perfect testing ground to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future.

 

Edited by Greymouser
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Maybe this is sacrilege, but why do they spend billions on showing what Newton's second law tells us about  momentum and that it is just speed x mass. We all know what will happen, and we do not need an experiment to tell us what we have known for 400 years. Checking Wikipedia would have been much cheaper for NASA:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum

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1 minute ago, gorann said:

Maybe this is sacrilege, but why do they spend billions on showing what Newton's second law tells us about  momentum and that it is just speed x mass. We all know what will happen, and we do not need an experiment to tell us what we have known for 400 years. Checking Wikipedia would have been much cheaper for NASA:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum

I expect its a bit of the unknown similar to when Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 which was predicted as almost a non event hit Jupiter..

Alan

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8 minutes ago, gorann said:

Maybe this is sacrilege, but why do they spend billions on showing what Newton's second law tells us about  momentum and that it is just speed x mass. We all know what will happen, and we do not need an experiment to tell us what we have known for 400 years. Checking Wikipedia would have been much cheaper for NASA:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum

It's a fair point, but I feel it's more of a demonstrator - one, for those who walk among us and still don't get Newton's laws, and two to show that the technology is capable of doing what we might need it to

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6 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

I expect its a bit of the unknown similar to when Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 which was predicted as almost a non event hit Jupiter..

Alan

Well, that is not what NASA says. What are the unknowns here? They just want to know what happens to a body in space with known mass and velocity when it is hit by another body in space with known mass and velocity. We all had to calculate that in school....

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3 minutes ago, JimFR said:

It's a fair point, but I feel it's more of a demonstrator - one, for those who walk among us and still don't get Newton's laws, and two to show that the technology is capable of doing what we might need it to

Yes, it must be something of a show-off for politicians and maybe the public, but to me it is a terrible waste of space-flight money. I remember that in school (nearly 50 years ago) I calculated what would happen to the velocity of a Volkswagen beetle if it would crash into a truck, and it was not good🤪

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1 hour ago, gorann said:

Yes, it must be something of a show-off for politicians and maybe the public, but to me it is a terrible waste of space-flight money. I remember that in school (nearly 50 years ago) I calculated what would happen to the velocity of a Volkswagen beetle if it would crash into a truck, and it was not good🤪

didn't have to calculate that, tho it was a VW Beetle vs Citroen DS head on. Front of the DS just a little crumpled, Beetle on the other hand, not a lot left of the front end. Any 2CV fans should also note - do not pull out in front of a truck if you want to see tomorrow...

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1 hour ago, gorann said:

Well, that is not what NASA says. What are the unknowns here? They just want to know what happens to a body in space with known mass and velocity when it is hit by another body in space with known mass and velocity. We all had to calculate that in school....

What's not known is whether the collision is elastic or inelastic, nor whether the impact will lead to a change in angular momentum as well as linear momentum. 

Much to learn. 

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As per the Wikipedia article...

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The actual velocity change and orbital shift are unknown until after it happens because it depends on the topology of the surface. Following the impact, the orbital speed of Dimorphos drops slightly, which has the effect of reducing the radius of its orbit around Didymos. The trajectory of Didymos is also modified but in reduced proportions because the mass of Dimorphos is much lower than that of Didymos. There is a poorly predictable "momentum enhancement" effect due to the contribution of recoil momentum from impact ejecta. The final momentum transferred to the largest remaining fragment of the asteroid could be up to 3-5 times the incident momentum, and obtaining accurate measurements of the effects, which will help refine models of such impacts, is one of the mission's main goals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Asteroid_Redirection_Test#Effect_of_the_impact_on_the_orbit_of_Dimorphos_and_Didymos

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