DART Mission!

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Rocdoc

Buckeye
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Aug 23, 2008
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Anyone folloing the DART mission? So cool on video feeds, impact incredible, data incoming soon! Exciting use of a limited budget vs manned space flight: short term results to learn how to address an immediate threat
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
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Dec 16, 2005
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On the beach and in the hills
My question is this. Do they seriously think they are going to significantly change an object on a collision course with earth? Considering the mass, possible composition and velocity has anyone calculated the velocity and mass required to alter the orbit. I doubt we have the capability to launch something heavy enough or fast enough to do any good, science fiction movies not withstanding.
 

eveled

Hunter
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
4,246
Thats what they are trying to figure out. Its a vacum so only a nudge should make a difference.

Thing is this one wasn’t on a collision course with earth. So it was shot at an angle, not straight on. So the experiment is flawed. Still fascinating stuff.

Can’t get used to the new NASA broadcasts. They seem like Nickelodeon specials for kids.

I thought it was funny how awkwardly they all celebrated after it hit. Like they were all giving high fives for the first time ever. Lol.
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
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On the beach and in the hills
In a vacum or atmosphere you still have to overcome that old physics thing about objects in motion, and how much energy it takes to alter it's direction. Now if you make a small change far enough away, that's one thing, but close up?
 

Joe Chartreuse

Single-Sixer
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May 1, 2022
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New Jersey
My question is this. Do they seriously think they are going to significantly change an object on a collision course with earth? Considering the mass, possible composition and velocity has anyone calculated the velocity and mass required to alter the orbit. I doubt we have the capability to launch something heavy enough or fast enough to do any good, science fiction movies not withstanding.
Mass is meaningless in regard to this small a body in space. As far as velocity, it is not trying to stop it head on, it is sideswiping it. A polypropylene riot shield will not stop a bullet, but if angled properly in can cause a deflection. Also keep in mind that while the Dart is small, it impacted at over 10,000 MPH. That is a LOT of velocity bought to a dead stop, to which the moonlet has to react, and there is very little if any inertia in space.
Another thing to remember is that small objects like that can actually be moved by a laser if the beam is constant and powerful enough. There have already been experiments with space vehicles using light sails.
 

Acorn

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 10, 2006
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North Huntingdon Pa.
I kind of look at it as if you were to push a speedboat away from a dock. The boat is floating so there is little resistance. It moves.
Put the same boat on dry land and you ain’t pushing it by hand.
 

redhawker

Buckeye
Joined
May 23, 2009
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1,510
Location
Communist America (escape planned soon)
I think they're testing the theory of the "butterfly effect". One little "push" far enough out might make one headed for us miss by many thousands of miles. In other words, if hitting it with this changes its trajectory even slightly, due to the large distances involved, that may be enough for it to miss us rather than hit us. Probably worth it to find out if it can be done or if it can't, to start working on something else.
 
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