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US News NASA launches a deviation test mission of an

22:40  23 november  2021
22:40  23 november  2021 Source:   lefigaro.fr

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space-exploration-AST-RO-DE: NASA launches a deviation test mission of an asteroid

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asteroid by Steve Gorman

Los Angeles (Reuters) - A spacex rocket must take off from California on the end of the day as part of a single NASA test mission in its kind, which aims to deviate an asteroid in order to avoid a potentially fatal collision for the earth.

The mission called Dart (Double Asteroid Redirection Test, Double Asteroid Deviation Test), aims to test the ability of NASA to modify the trajectory of an asteroid with a kinetic force, coming to crash at large Speed ​​A robotic spatial vessel on the asteroid and doing it just pushing enough to deflect it with a collision with the earth.

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NASA has selected Spacex, the billionaire Elon Musk company, to launch the mission aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Base in California, about 250 kilometers northwest of Los Angeles.


Video: Tripulación de Nasa-Spacex Regresa de Estación Estacial Internacional (Reuters)

The rocket should take off at 22:20 Tuesday night, Pacific Time (7:20 Time of Paris, Wednesday). If the take-off was postponed, NASA will have an 84-day launch window for a new test.

Once launched, the Dart mission will travel for 10 months to its destination, the dimorphos asteroid, a few 11 million km from the Earth.

This asteroid, the size of a football stadium, revolves around a piece of rock of about five times its size in a binary asteroidal system called Didymos. It is not, at present, on a trajectory that could bring it to hit the land in a more or less close future.

Scientists have chosen it because its proximity relating to the land and its double asteroid configuration make it a perfect candidate to observe the impact results.

The total cost of the project would be about $ 330 million (approximately 293 million euros).

(Reportage Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, French version Lucinda Langlands-Perry, edited by Jean-Stéphane Brush)

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