History In The Making! Next Week NASA’s First Planetary Defense Test Mission Will Intentionally Crash Into A Small Asteroid
Calling all planetary defenders! Next week, on Monday, Sept. 26, at 7:14 pm ET, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will intentionally crash into a small asteroid called Dimorphos in an attempt to change its speed and orbit around its larger neighbor, Didymos. This binary asteroid system located approximately seven million miles from Earth is humanity’s first test for planetary defense.
DART is a technology demonstration designed to test if we could redirect an asteroid if we ever needed to. Following the impact, astronomers here on Earth will monitor the orbit of Dimorphos to determine if DART successfully changed the asteroid’s motion in space. While no known asteroid poses significant risk of impact with Earth in the next 100 years, NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office is in the business of characterizing near-Earth objects and their potential risks to make sure we stay prepared.
* Live one-on-one interviews will be offered on Monday, Sept 26, between 6:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. ET * Interviews will be done virtually using video chat platforms primarily via Zoom * B-roll is available at this site: https://dart.jhuapl.edu/Gallery/
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Anchor Intro: NASA is on a mission to keep the world safe! Later today (September 26th) NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, will intentionally crash into a near-Earth asteroid in the name of planetary defense. The question is can we redirect an asteroid if we ever needed to? Here to tell us more about this exciting mission is NASA (or Johns Hopkins APL) expert XXXX:
Planetary defense isn’t just science fiction. Later today, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, will…
Suggested Questions: This mission sounds like it could be right out of science fiction. Can you tell us what you are expecting to happen tonight? The DART mission is about planetary defense. Can you tell us what planetary defense is, and what we’re hoping to learn from this test? How will we find out what happens to Dimorphos after the collision of the DART spacecraft? What is the likelihood of an asteroid being a big enough danger to Earth that we would need to use this technology to avoid a huge natural disaster? Where can our viewers go to learn more about DART?
Questions for longer interviews: How will we find out what happens to Dimorphos after the collision of the DART spacecraft? By how much is this redirection test going to move this asteroid moonlet? There is a little CubeSat traveling along with DART, can you tell us about that? Why was this asteroid system chosen for this mission? Since DART is going to try to redirect an asteroid, why is it colliding with the little moonlet instead of the larger asteroid itself?