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Two weeks later, NASA's Dart spacecraft opened its eyes

Just Two weeks after launching from the Vandenberg space force base in California, NASA's dual asteroid or Dart (DART) test spacecraft caught its eye. opened and sent its first images from space, which is a major operational turning point for the spacecraft and the darts team.

, Scientists and engineers at the Operations Center at Johns Hopkins Laboratory of Applied Physics were very worried and waiting for a critical moment. Given that the components of a spacecraft telescopic instrument are sensitive to movements of 5 millionths of a meter (6-10.5 meters), even a small displacement of part of the set can have very serious effects.

Tuesday On December 7, the spacecraft opened the lid of the circle that covered the aperture of the DRACO telescope, sending everyone the first image of its surroundings, making everyone happy.

Taken from Earth at a distance of about 3.2 million kilometers (11 light-seconds) and astronomically very close, several stars are clearly visible in the dark background of space near the constellation Barsavsh, and The bull (cow) shows.

BingMag.com <b>Two</b> <b>weeks</b> <b>later,</b> <b>NASA's</b> <b>Dart</b> <b>spacecraft</b> <b>opened</b> its eyes

Dart image of nearby stars in the constellation Bersavus, transport and throne
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

Used Draco's camera and took the first measurements from Sh Yahweh aimed the camera at the spacecraft.

With these measurements, the Dart team can move the spacecraft accurately to point the Draco camera at the target objects. For example, on December 10, Dart was photographed from Messier 38 (M38), a star cluster 4,200 light-years from Earth known as the Starfish, located in the constellation Chaos. .

BingMag.com <b>Two</b> <b>weeks</b> <b>later,</b> <b>NASA's</b> <b>Dart</b> <b>spacecraft</b> <b>opened</b> its eyes

M38 star cluster from a spacecraft perspective NASA Dart
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

Taking targeted images with many stars like M38 helps the mission team determine the light defects in the images as well as the absolute brightness of a mass. All of these details are important for accurate measurements as Draco begins imaging the final destination of the spacecraft, the Didymos dual asteroid system. Optical is a high-quality camera inspired by the photographer on the New Horizons spacecraft. The spacecraft captured the first close-ups of the dwarf planet Pluto and one of the objects in the Kuiper Belt, the Arrokoth. Dimorphos will record and support the spacecraft's automatic guidance system to steer it to its final destination, a kinetic collision with the asteroid.

NASA's Cesarean Defense Coordination has been developed. This is the first test mission of a planetary defense that it intends to hit in order to change the direction of the asteroid Deformus.

While the asteroid is not oriented towards Earth, Dart is a technology demonstration mission to show that the spacecraft It can automatically make a strong kinetic collision with a relatively small asteroid. The spacecraft will land on September 26, 2022 (October 4, 1401) and, if successful, could be used to redirect potentially dangerous asteroids if discovered in the future.

Cover Photo: Graphic Design From NASA Dart spacecraft
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

Source: SciTechDaily

Tags: two, weeks, later,, nasa's, dart, spacecraft, opened, eyes

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