NASA’s new planetary defensive system DART

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test


NASA launched their Double Asteroid Redirection Test, also known as DART. DART was the first ever mission dedicated to investigating and showing a method of asteroid deflection on Wednesday, Sept 21. It does this by changing the course of an asteroids motion in space. 

NASA’s rendering of DART

NASA launched DART towards the asteroid Didymos and its moonlet, a smaller moon, Dimorphos, which posed no threat the earth but was used as a test for DART. Impact was made at 7:14pm the same day which was on schedule and right on target. DART was the first part of NASA’s larger planetary defense system. 

“It’s nice to be trying different methods out before we actually need something like it” science teacher, Mr. Donald Wade, said. “We have yet to see the effects of smashing into objects in space, I’m interested to see that data when it comes out”.

The DART project cost $324.5 million. $308 million of those dollars were spent on the spacecraft development. $68.8 million for launch services, and $16.5 million was spent on operations and data analysis. Compared to some of NASA’s other spacecrafts such as the James Webb telescope that cost one billion dollars to build, DART is simple and low-cost.