in Toulouse the ISAE-Supaero school takes part in the first planetary defense mission against an asteroid
A scenario worthy of Hollywood. This Wednesday, November 24, NASA lace the DART mission. Objective: to deviate the trajectory of an asteroid in space. The Toulouse school ISAE-Supaero is participating in this very real planetary defense mission, even if the asteroid is (fortunately) not threatening.
Let’s put it bluntly: it feels like an Armageddon-type movie. This Wednesday, November 24, NASA is launching the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission which consists of deviating the trajectory of an asteroid in space. The asteroid in question exists, it’s called Dimorphos – and luckily for humanity, it’s not threatening.
Deflect the asteroid with a missile probe
But the objective of DART is to protect the Earth if an asteroid were to cross the path of our planet. Concretely, NASA will launch a missile probe which will crash on the asteroid Dimorphos in order to modify its trajectory. The impact is scheduled for October 2023.
A mission followed in Toulouse by Supaero
This is the first phase of this mission. In phase 2, the Europeans will take over by studying the characteristics of the asteroid – this will be the HERA mission connected by ESA (European Space Agency) in 2024.
It is this 2nd mission that will be closely followed in Toulouse by researchers from ISAE-Supaero. They are studying the size and shape of the crater left by the probe.
Our goal is to understand the physical properties of the asteroid Dimorphos to better interpret the results of the DART impact.
American and European scientists will therefore work together to protect the Earth. Fortunately, to date, there is no known asteroid that threatens to collide with our planet. But better to prevent than to suffer … So here are the Toulouse researchers associated with the (potential) rescue of humanity.
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