Broadcast 3795 Hotel Mars: Dr. Andy Rivkin, APL

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Andy Rivkin, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  The NASA DART Mission.  

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John Batchelor and I welcomed the lead investigator for the NASA DART Mission, Dr. Andy Rivkin from the Applied Physics Lab (APL), to discuss the DART mission as part of developing a planetary defense system for NEAs (Near Earth Asteroids) with a risk of colliding with Earth.  Our guest explained the binary target, the smaller moon or moonlet which is the target, and the goal which is to only nudge the moonlet a bit, not to destroy it. During our discussion, our guests explained why destruction was not an objective (possible large amount of dangerous space debris) while if they were able to move it ever so slightly it would miss hitting Earth.  In describing the mission, he talked about the size of the main NEA, the moonlet, the speed undertaken by DART to meet up with the target and then go on and hit the target moonlet to nudge it a bit.  He also explained the added part of the mission which involved an Italian launcher and camera under control of the EU to be fired from the mother rocket shortly before impact to enable it to photograph the impact in high detail for the needed calculations. This was a two segment Hotel mars program that also addressed other methods of planetary defense and at one my asking him how this kinetic impactor might differ from a space weapon kinetic impactor.  There are many good news articles on DART or you can check out the this one which was very complete on Universetoday:  www.universetoday.com/153440/nasa-launches-dart-to-learn-how-to-defend-the-earth-from-a-future-asteroid-impact.

Please post your comments/questions for this discussion on our blog for this show.

You can email Mr. Batchelor through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com. Dr. Rivkin can be reached through his APL website.

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Hotel Mars discusses the DART Mission with Dr. Andy Rivkin of APL

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01 Dec 2021 John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston, Dr. Andy Rivkin
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