Matthew Bray is the designer and lead engineer for the DART High Gain Antenna (HGA), following the antenna from concept to prototype, flight fabrication, and testing. The DART HGA is a wideband Radial Line Slot Array (RLSA) that forms a narrow beam, allowing high throughput images to be downloaded from DART's DRACO instrument as the spacecraft approaches the Didymos asteroid system. Watch Matthew and his team install the HGA onto the DART spacecraft.
For the test, the DART spacecraft has been traveling toward a pair of asteroids since its launch in November last year. During that time the craft sent back its first images and the target asteroid was imaged as well. Now, the DART craft has deployed a small satellite that will take photographs as the crash occurs. The satellite, called LICIACube or Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging Asteroids, was popped free from a spring-loaded box on DART on September 11.
Most geologists believe that the dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago when a large comet or asteroid struck the earth, throwing up so much dust that the sun was blocked out for a period of many months. Suppose an asteroid with a diameter of 2.0 km and a mass of 1.0×1013kg hits the earth (6.0×1024kg) with an impact speed of 4.0×104 m/s. 2b1af7f3a8