NASA to conduct mock drill for its asteroid defense technology

NASA wants to save the Earth from civilization-threatening asteroids.


NASA seems ready to conduct a mock exercise that will play out a fictional scenario for a space rock on a collision course with Earth. The new exercise will help the planetary defence community understand potential disasters and respond accordingly.

NASA to conduct mock drill for its asteroid defense technology


NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), along with international partners will be seen participating in a 'tabletop exercise' next week at the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference. Attendees will play out a fictional NEO impact scenario developed by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS).

"These exercises have really helped us in the planetary defense community to understand what our colleagues on the disaster management side need to know," said Lindley Johnson, NASA's Planetary Defense Officer.

"This exercise will help us develop more effective communications with each other and with our governments," said Johnson.

Besides, NASA has chosen SpaceX to work on its first-ever attempt to deflect an asteroid. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will take flight placed on a Falcon 9 rocket in June 2021 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The main mission of DART is to collide with the Didymos asteroid's small moon and deflect it off its orbit. While this sounds exciting, if the mission fails, it would result in derailment of NASA's "kinetic impactor technique," however, success will provide crucial data that will inform its deployment against an actual asteroid that's approaching our planet.

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