Society for Popular Astronomy

Nudging Didymoon from Didymos
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Author:  brian livesey [ Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Nudging Didymoon from Didymos

In October 2020, two spacecraft will be launched, one to fire an impactor at the smaller component of a binary asteroid and the other to monitor the effects. So scientists were told at the European Planetary Congress in Nantes, France.
The purpose of the joint US-European Aida ( Asteroid Deflection and Assessment ) project will be to see if the orbital path of 160m diameter Didymoon can be changed.
This could provide information that might assist in dealing with asteroids on a collision course with earth.
The ESA-led Asteroid Impact Mission ( Aim ) will monitor events, while Nasa's Double Asteroid Redirection Test ( Dart ) will fire an impactor into Didymoon which orbits 750m diameter Didymos every 12 hours at a distance of 0.7 miles.
It will be in 2022 when Aim will move to a safe distance to watch dart striking the smaller of the asteroids. Aim will also send a small lander to the asteroid to investigate its internal structure.

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