"I think we have a planetary defense program worth talking about right now." It will be launched from California on Tuesday evening. The asteroid's double divergence test, or DART mission, seeks to prove an asteroid's ability to orbit in the next year. p>
If NASA successfully completes this experiment, it will demonstrate the ability to deflect an incoming asteroid from its path of collision with Earth. "We're trying to show that we can reduce a threat like this," Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's director of science, told Ars. Tracking and possible deflection of asteroids, comets and other large objects that may hit the Earth. In public opinion polls, planetary defense always ranks high among the options that NASA should focus on, and the US Congress has asked the space agency to identify all asteroids with a diameter of 140 meters or more. This object is large enough to destroy a city on Earth.
However, for nearly five years, NASA has made limited progress toward these goals. There have always been bigger priorities for the space agency. And, to be honest, luck was on NASA's side. There are no known asteroids to invade Earth within the next century. And while rogue asteroids are possible, humanity will likely wait centuries to fully address the problem. Throughout recorded history, in fact, there has been no human death that can be reliably attributed to an asteroid impact. p> She. However, it seems foolish to do anything, especially since NASA can do something with relatively little investment. So, after becoming NASA's vice president for the science mission in 2016, Zorbuchen increased the planetary defense budget from $50 million to $150 million. This allowed NASA to fund not only research but also real projects. Soon, work began on the now-ready DART mission.
According to Zorbuchen, the next step is to fund the construction and complete assembly of the Near-Earth Surveyor or NEO-Surveyor. . The space observatory is designed to detect 65 percent of undiscovered asteroids 140 meters or larger near Earth within five years and 90 percent of them within a decade. p>
The mission could run until 2025, but this is subject to Congressional funding. The White House is looking for funding to begin building the Near-Earth Object Survey in fiscal year 2022.
More needs to be done
"I think we have a worthy planetary defense program" I'm really proud of what we've been able to doing it. But I still think we can do better. " p>
If DART is successful, Zurbuchen said, one of the next possible steps is to develop a full-fledged program. According to him, if an asteroid is found in orbit with Earth, this feature will be ready for use, and the greater the deflection of the asteroid, the more Its deflection was even more significant.
Water and weather seem favorable for throwing, with a probability of 90% for "going" conditions. SpaceX has already conducted a test launch of a stationary rocket and has not reported any problems preventing it from launching in time. p>
With tonight's launch, NASA is starting to take planetary defense seriously
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