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Asteroid hit by NASA spacecraft is behaving unexpectedly

When NASA crashed its DART spacecraft into the asteroid Dimorphos, the goal was to shorten the space rock's orbit around its parent asteroid. The mission succeeded - but Dimorphos' orbit has continued to shrink and it isn't clear why

By Jonathan O’Callaghan

7 September 2023

Dimorphos as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope after colliding with NASA’s DART spacecraft


A high school teacher and his students have discovered that an asteroid hit by a NASA spacecraft, in a test run for saving Earth from a collision, is behaving unexpectedly. The find could have implications for future planetary defence missions.

On 27 September 2022, NASA intentionally crashed its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft into the asteroid Dimorphos. The goal was to slow the space rock’s nearly 12-hour orbit around a parent asteroid, called Didymos, and …

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