Geeking Science: Percussive Defense

This imagery from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope from Oct. 8, 2022, shows the debris blasted from the surface of Dimorphos 285 hours after the asteroid was intentionally impacted by NASA’s DART spacecraft on Sept. 26. The shape of that tail has changed over time. Scientists are continuing to study this material and how it moves in space, in order to better understand the asteroid. Credits: NASA/ESA/STScI/Hubble

You can take humans off world, but you can’t take the world out of the humans. Or should this just be “humans will be humans”?
I’ve previous mentioned NASA solution of fixing the Martian Lander by having it hit itself with a shovel. (Percussive Maintenance; January 21, 2021)
Now they, our biggest scientific brains, are exploring asteroid defense of planet Earth so we don’t go by the way of the dinosaur, by …. hitting an asteroid with a solid object, in this case a DART.
Double Asteroid Redirection Test exceeded the minimum goal of changing the orbit an asteroid by 73 second by a bit … like 33 minutes … with a planned collision. (NASA. October 2022; Paoletta, 2022)
When in doubt, bang it, see what happens.
Of course they use words like “kinetic”, “impact”, “intentional”, “defense technology”. But really, we figuring out how to swing a stick in space so the bad space rocks won’t hurt us.
Ain’t science grand?
Of course scientists being scientists, they are still sorting the data what happened beyond the Percussive Defense incident. Further study indicates that the change in orbit around the second asteroid was a combination of initial impact and the ejecta tossed out from the impact. (NASA, December 2022)
DART’S LAST COMPLETE LOOK AT DIMORPHOS In a thrilling moment, DART captured this view of Dimorphos just as it was about to crash into the asteroid moon. Seconds later, the transmission ended. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL
NASA. “Early Results from NASA’s DART Mission.” December 14, 2022. – last viewed 12/16/2022.
NASA. “NASA Confirms DART Mission Impact Changed Asteroid’s Motion in Space.” October 11, 20222. – last viewed 12/16/2022.
Paoletta, Rae. “NASA says DART’s asteroid impact was a huge success”. The Planetary Society. October 11, 2022. – last viewed 12/16/2022.