From Impact to Innovation: A Year of Science and Triumph for Historic DART Mission

Last fall, the world watched as the DART spacecraft — the Double Asteroid Redirecti​on Test — guided itself toward the asteroid Dimorphos for a direct collision, a major technical achievement and the first successful planetary defense test in history. DART targeted the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos, a small body just 490 feet (150 meters) in diameter, which orbits a larger, 2,500-foot (760-meter) asteroid called Didy​mos. Neither asteroid threatened Earth, but the system proved to be the perfect target for the experimental mission.

An illustration of a gold-colored spacecraft with large solar panels crashing into a coarse asteroid in space. Golden streams flow behind the spacecraft, giving the illusion that it's moving quickly.
This graphic combines the DART spacecraft and the topography of the asteroid Dimorphos to show an artistic depiction of DART's impact moments before it occurred. The asteroid topography and the impact location are based on data obtained by the DRACO instrument prior to impact. (​Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Jon Emmerich)​

As a part of NASA's overall planetary defense strategy, DART's impact with the asteroid Dimorphos demonstrated a viable mitigation technique for protecting the planet from an Earth-bound asteroid if one were discovered. 

Revisit DART's triumphant collision with Dimorphos and the resulting year of science analysis and discoveries that followed through this interact​ive story highlighting the mission's one-year anniversary.​

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