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SpaceX Receives $70 Million Contract from NASA: Conducting Planetary Impact Orbital Test

via:博客园     time:2019/4/13 16:31:36     readed:158

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Tencent Technology News, according to foreign media reports, for the private rocket company SpaceX founded by Musk, April 10 is a wonderful day.

The company's Falcon heavy rocket completed its first commercial launch mission, launching Saudi Arabia's huge Arabsat-6A communications satellite, and successfully landed all three first-class rockets, one of which successfully landed. On the recycling boat at sea.

According to foreign media reports, while the space mission is about to end, NASA announced that SpaceX will perform its dual asteroid redirection test (DART) mission. NASA officials said the total launch cost was about $69 million.

If everything goes according to plan, in June 2021, the DART spacecraft will be launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California through SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.

More than a year later, in October 2022, the DART spacecraft will hit a star called "DidyMoon", a satellite that orbits the near-Earth asteroid Didymos, measuring about 165 meters.

The telescope on Earth will record how the collision affects DidyMoon and its 775-meter flight orbit around Didymos. DART team members say such observations will help researchers assess the “power impact” strategy that drives the deflection of dangerous asteroids.

At that time, we can also observe the small satellite that was damaged by close observation. According to reports, a candidate European spacecraft named "Hera" (Hera) will launch in 2023, fly to the Didymos asteroid, and arrive there in 2026.

The European spacecraft will observe DidyMoon's new crater and make detailed measurements of the orbital deviation of DidyMoon after it has been impacted.

However, it is unclear whether “Hera” will leave the ground. The European Space Agency is expected to decide the fate of the proposed mission by the end of this year.

According to foreign media reports, if NASA's experiments are successful, human spacecraft can guide the asteroids away from the Earth's orbital path and avoid the tragedy of planets striking the Earth. It is speculated. NASA's 2005 "deep impact" mission was a small similar trial.

The goal of NASA's DART device is to reduce the human response time required to prevent the catastrophic effects of a space rock rushing into a large city. At present, the National Academy of Sciences predicts that it will take one to two years of warning time to make a smaller asteroid deviate from orbit. For larger asteroids, this number may have expanded to 20 years, and it can take decades for a giant rock in space hundreds of kilometers in diameter.

Since we don't have much test data, it's unclear whether DART is effective for any larger star than an asteroid. However, by June 2021, we will be one step closer to finding the answer.

It is reported that the Didymos asteroid was only 11 million kilometers away from the Earth when the air crash occurred.

DART is not the first human spacecraft to hit an asteroid. Earlier this month, Japan's Hayabusa2 detector smashed a copper "bull" into a space rock named "Ryugu" to dig out the original underground material for research purposes. Task team members said that Hayabusa2 may also collect some new unearthed things.

Hayabusa2 belongs to a task of carrying samples back to Earth. The detector has captured a sample of Ryugu, which is scheduled to return to Earth in December 2020.

It is worth mentioning that relying on rocket re-use, SpaceX has greatly reduced the cost of rocket launches, and it is said that the company has occupied more than half of the global satellite launch market. According to official sources, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has a single launch price of $60 million, and the Falcon heavy rocket has a single launch price of $90 million.

NASA is an important driver of SpaceX's development. SpaceX has previously received a large number of contracts for the delivery of supplies to the International Space Station. In the middle of this year, SpaceX's dragon spacecraft will also send American astronauts to the International Space Station, and SpaceX will also receive NASA. A steady stream of launch and delivery contracts.

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