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Subject NASA: We Will Try To Divert Binary Near-Earth Asteroid (65803) Didymos...
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Original Message The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is directed by NASA to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) with support from several NASA centers: the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Johnson Space Center (JSC), Glenn Research Center (GRC), and Langley Research Center (LaRC).

DART is a planetary defense-driven test of technologies for preventing an impact of Earth by a hazardous asteroid. DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space. The DART mission is in Phase C, led by APL and managed under NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program at Marshall Space Flight Center for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office and the Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC.

The binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos is the target for the DART demonstration. While the Didymos primary body is approximately 780 meters across, its secondary body (or “moonlet”) is about 160-meters in size, which is more typical of the size of asteroids that could pose the most likely significant threat to Earth. The Didymos binary is being intensely observed using telescopes on Earth to precisely measure its properties before DART arrives.

[link to www.nasa.gov (secure)]

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