Thursday, April 13, 2023

'Adam Driver asks NASA about asteroids' for Apophis Day

Happy Apophis Day, when I report on the perils of space! I begin today's entry with Adam Driver Asks NASA About Asteroids.

The dinosaurs went extinct by an asteroid impact many years ago. Here at NASA and around the world, there are teams of experts making sure we can actually do something about it if an asteroid were to ever threaten Earth. We’re studying these rocky, airless remnants to better understand the early formation of our solar system.

“65” actor Adam Driver and NASA Planetary Defender Kelly Fast discuss how we find, track, and monitor near-Earth asteroids, as well as test technologies that could one day be used to prevent a potential impact, should a hazardous asteroid be discovered in the future. The duo also talks about the OSIRIS-REx mission and the asteroid sample the spacecraft will bring to Earth this September.
I enjoyed this cross-promotion of the "65" movie, which I will probably write more about when the next Saturn Awards come around, with NASA's planetary defense work. Star power!

For a slightly more serious take, watch last month's NASA's DART Mission Confirms Crashing Spacecraft into Asteroids Can Deflect Them.

Since NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) successfully impacted its target on Sept. 26, 2022 – altering the orbit of the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos by a whopping 33 minutes – the DART team has determined that the mission's kinetic impactor technique can be an effective way to change the trajectory of an asteroid.

These findings were published in four papers in the journal Nature on March 1, 2023.
Between yesterday's Stephen Colbert interviews the Artemis II crew for Yuri's Night and today's entry, I've covered two of the top space stories in 2022 has been another great year in space. DART has been as successful in its own way as the James Webb Space Telescope, the top science story of 2022. Here's to hoping humanity builds on DART's success so "Don't Look Up" remains fiction.

I conclude today's entry with this meme I got from my friend Nebris to remind my readers of the importance of a space program to protect against threats coming from outside the planet.

Stay tuned for a Flashback Friday retrospective tomorrow.

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