Categories: Tech News

NASA plans to deflect an asteroid on September 26!

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) will reportedly crash a 500 kg spacecraft into binary asteroid 65803 Didymos, the Dimorphous moon.

NASA is set to attempt to redirect an asteroid via the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) next month. The US space agency will crash a 500 kg spacecraft into the binary asteroid 65803 Didymos, the Dimorphous moon, to change its trajectory on September 26. Launching in November 2021, DART will deflect an asteroid by kinetic impact. The DART mission is part of NASA’s larger planetary defense strategy to safeguard Earth in the event that an asteroid poses a threat to Earth. It will do this by smashing its spacecraft against the smallest member of the binary asteroid system. According to the report, DART will reach Didymos in September and crash into Dimorphous at about 15,000 miles per hour. However, the asteroid system is not a threat to our planet.

What is Didymos?

According to, it’s a pair of asteroids together: Didymos and Dimorphos. The latter orbits Didymos. It revolves around its larger twin every 11 hours and 55 minutes. Didymos is a large 2,560-foot asteroid, while Dimorphos is 525 feet. NASA has been tracking its motion for decades and found it ideal for testing the DART mission.

What is NASA’s DART spacecraft?

Launching in November 2021, NASA’s DART mission is the first spacecraft to demonstrate the deflection of an asteroid using a kinetic impactor. It will hit the asteroid at a speed of almost 24,000 kilometers per hour, with the aim of slowing the asteroid down slightly and changing its course in another direction.

The DART mission is built and operated by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), under the direction of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO).

According to NASA, data from the crash will help scientists create mini-impacts in a lab and build sophisticated computer models based on those results.


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