The asteroid was deflected with the DART crash

The DART mission changed the asteroid's orbit and the method works for planetary defense

ivan rodriguez gelfenstein

NASA has officially confirmed that the Asteroid Redirection Mission spacecraft, also known as DART, has successfully altered the orbit of the asteroid Dimorphos.

After the impact, which took place at the end of September, it was possible to study the orbit, showing that it was reduced by 32 minutes, from 11 hours and 55 minutes without going through Didymos, to 11 hours and 23 minutes.

Commenting on the event, NASA Administrator Bull Nelson said it was the first time humans had intentionally altered an object's orbit in space.

According to Lori Glaze, director of NASA's planetary science division, the accuracy of the orbit change is about two minutes. As a minimum margin, the trajectory was intended to change by at least 73 seconds, but the agency's models estimated that the change would take several tens of minutes, resulting in a greater than expected change, precisely 25 times longer.

The ejection, that is, the tons of rock from the asteroid displaced and launched into space by the accident, will also be analyzed. For now, the agency details that the debris explosion also increased dart's momentum against dimorphos, as it acted as a burst of air coming out of a balloon that "throws" it in the opposite direction.

In addition, in about four years' time, the European Space Agency's (ESA) HERA project will also travel to the twin asteroid system to analyze the crater left by the DART collision and make an accurate measurement of the mass of Dimorphos.

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