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International Asteroid Day: A look at NASA's first planetary defense mission

June 30, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

In two years, NASA will demonstrate its asteroid deflection technology on the newly named Dimorphos, a moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid Didymos. This will be the agency's first full-scale demonstration of this type of technology on behalf of planetary defense.

(CNN)In two years, NASA will demonstrate its asteroid deflection technology on the newly named Dimorphos, a moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid Didymos.

And in 2022, NASA will test its asteroid deflection technology to see how it impacts the motion of a near-Earth asteroid in space.

But when the binary system became the target of NASA's 2022 Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission, or DART, it was time for the moon to get an official name.

In late 2022, Didymos and Dimorphos will be relatively close to Earth and within 6,835,083 miles of our planet — the perfect time for the DART mission to occur.

DART will deliberately crash into Dimorphos to change the asteroid's motion in space, according to NASA.

"Astronomers will be able to compare observations from Earth-based telescopes before and after DART's kinetic impact to determine how much the orbital period of Dimorphos changed," said Tom Statler, DART program scientist at NASA Headquarters, in a statement.

While the DART mission was developed for NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office and managed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the mission's team will work with the Hero mission team under an international collaboration known as the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment, or AIDA.

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