NASA confirmed on Tuesday that the “Double Asteroid Redirection Test” or DART (dart) mission was a success.
On September 26, NASA announced that a spacecraft from the DART mission managed to touch the asteroid Dimorphos, a moon 160 meters in diameter. The goal was to deflect its trajectory, a test for future plans to defend the planet against this type of threat. After analysis, NASA confirmed on Tuesday that the mission was a success: the spacecraft managed to reduce the orbit of the asteroid by 32 minutes.
For Özgür Karatekin, scientist at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, who participated in this mission thanks to the support of digital models in particular, this announcement is good news: “The change in orbit is much larger than we had estimated. These results show that it was more effective than expected. It is a great success!”he explains in Le 12h30. “We will now include this information in our models. We did not know the reaction of this asteroid, because we have never been able to carry out this type of test in the past”.
CONFIRMED: Analysis of data obtained over the past 2 weeks by the #DARTMission team shows impact with Dimorphos has successfully altered the asteroid’s orbit by 32 minutes – marking the 1st time humans have changed the orbit of a celestial object in space! https://t.co/MjmUAFwVSO pic.twitter.com/4Qiy1mC4gK
—NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) October 11, 2022
■ Interview conducted by Camille Paillaud in The 12:30 p.m.