On Monday, NASA conducted a successful controlled collision of the DART spacecraft (Dual Asteroid Redirection Test) with the Dimorphos asteroid. This event was watched both by viewers on the online broadcast, and by telescopes that noticed the consequence of a space accident. In honor of this historic event, Google has hidden a secret in its search engine. Such secrets are also called “Easter eggs”.
If you enter NASA DART in the Google search engine, an animation will be displayed in which a space probe flies across your screen. But at the end, the spacecraft collides with the search results, as a result of which the entire web page remains “damaged” and tilted to the right. Thus, Google wanted to convey the main goal of the DART mission – an attempt to change the orbit of an asteroid by kinetic collision.
Successful crash test
The DART mission deliberately crashed into a space rock 11 million kilometers from Earth. This is the first test within the framework of NASA’s planetary defense system. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson welcomed the mission, calling the project “a giant step in protecting our planet”. And this is just the beginning, as the agency prepares to check whether DART was able to change the asteroid’s orbit. If successful, the Dimorphos’s orbit should become closer to the Didymos around which it orbits. In the future, NASA may use similar missions to prevent the fall of potentially dangerous asteroids threatening the Earth.
The DART spacecraft consisted of a box-shaped body, about twice the size of a washing machine and two solar panels on the sides with a length of 18 meters. There was only one video camera on board the probe, which was used to correct movement, orientation in space and shooting the approach to the Dimorphos. The camera even managed to take and send the last frame right a second before the collision with the asteroid.
Earlier we reported on how LICIACube filmed the collision of DART with the asteroid Dimorphos.
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