It was ten months on its way to its destination, the DART space probe, the double asteroid redirection test. It was launched on November 24, 2021 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, north of Los Angeles. Dart was the first US spacecraft to launch its mission from the country’s west coast, as all other NASA probes so far have taken off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. After its launch, Dart (English: Arrow) went into an orbit around the Sun and aligns itself with the orbit of the near-Earth binary asteroid (65803) Didymos with its moon Dimorphos. Ten months later, the then 570-kilogram probe self-propelled toward the moon Dimorphos at a relative speed of 6.15 kilometers per second (22140 kilometers per hour) and deliberately collided with great force, completely destroying Dart.
DART was intended to measure the orbit of the moon Dimorphos around Didymos by slowing down the force of the probe’s impact. At first, even if it was killed, the result was unclear because the exact structure and strength of Dimorphos is unknown. Worst, a…
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