By Gabriel Bernstein
NASA has finally announced their success on a new innovation that could save people worldwide from the danger posed by asteroids. Asteroids have always been an unknown variable to scientists as they are generally too unpredictable in trajectory to be deemed a threat. Thankfully, the testing on DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) was successful in preventing the asteroid, Dimorphos, from possibly impacting Earth. We finally have the technology required to protect our home from the unknowns of space. This test was the first sign of more to come.
The destructive potential of asteroids are boundless. Sixty-six million years ago, all dinosaurs became extinct from only a single asteroid. The biodiversity of earth completely changed that day.
Thankfully, the technology we have now will prove vital for our defense against the possible dangers of space. DART uses kinetic impact when colliding with asteroids to change its trajectory. Kinetic impact is when an object smashes into another one to change the direction of the second one. In this case, DART is colliding with the asteroid to change its trajectory from earth. There is no gravity in space, so the asteroid will float away, never to be seen again.
DART also has a navigation system built within known as DRACO (Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation). DRACO does complex math to guide DART and identify Dimorphos instead of other rubble in space.
With both DRACO and DART, it is safe to say that humanity is in good hands against possible dangers lurking in our galaxy.