NASA spacecraft that will slam into asteroid sent back its first photo

NASA's spacecraft that will collide with an asteroid in an attempt to change its orbit has sent back its first photograph.

@JakConnorTT
Published Wed, Jan 5 2022 1:08 AM CST   |   Updated Sat, Jan 29 2022 12:00 AM CST

Two weeks after launching, NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission has already sent back its first images.

NASA spacecraft that will slam into asteroid sent back its first photo 02 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 4 IMAGES

NASA launched its DART mission back at the end of November, and two weeks after the launch, the spacecraft destined to collide with an asteroid opened its "eye" called Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO) to snap images of its journey. The images have been shared by NASA, and according to the space agency, the above image showcases about a dozen stars near the constellation Perseus, Aries and Taurus intersect.

The first image was taken about 2 million miles away from Earth, which is still described as "very close, astronomically speaking". Additionally, NASA explains that the DART team used the images of the stars to see how precisely DRACO was orientated, giving the team the first data points for the accuracy of the camera direction relative to the spacecraft. On December 10 the team captured an image of the Starfish Cluster located 4,200 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Auriga.

NASA spacecraft that will slam into asteroid sent back its first photo 03 | TweakTown.com

NASA explains that capturing images of many stars allows the team to identify any imperfections in the images and calibrate "how absolutely bright an object is - all important details for accurate measurements when DRACO starts imaging the spacecraft's destination, the binary asteroid system Didymos", writes DART.

NASA spacecraft that will slam into asteroid sent back its first photo 04 | TweakTown.com
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NEWS SOURCES:bgr.com, dart.jhuapl.edu

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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