NASA asteroid mission could completely deform small moonlet, simulation suggests

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) impactor can severely deform the small asteroid 

The DART impactor is an ambitious mission to test the viability of using a kinetic impactor to deflect an asteroid heading toward Earth

NASA launched DART aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in November and will arrive at its target,

Mission scientists hope the impact would cause the moonlet’s orbital speed to change by a fraction of a millimetre a second

 This is the US space agency’s first dedicated planetary defence mission. 

 The last asteroid impact on Earth occurred 66 million years ago

 the researchers created a new modelling approach to account for the shockwaves and the cratering process

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