SpaceX is supposed to launch a NASA mission that would test an asteroid deflection system. Reportedly, this mission will be completed at a notably lower cost than earlier agency deals won by the firm. NASA proclaimed that it offered SpaceX a deal to launch the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) on a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in June 2021. The total price NASA will have to pay for this mission is about is $69 Million. It includes the charges for launch as well as related services.
DART is an underdevelopment mission from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. This mission is said to be a part of NASA’s planetary defense program. The spacecraft is supposed to use an electric propulsion system while traveling to the asteroid Didymos. DART is supposed to have a collision with a small moon that orbits Didymos, which is sometimes nicknamed as Didymoon, at a speed of about six kilometers per second.
On a similar note, NASA came into the news as it disclosed its study that compared two twins. One of these twins finished an almost one-year-long mission in space. On the other hand, the other twin spent that time on Earth. The study highlighted that most of the dramatic changes noticed to the human body in space were not permanent. Between 2015 and 2016, Scott Kelly was on board the International Space Station. He witnessed many physical and genetic changes, which Mark Kelly, his twin brother as well as a fellow astronaut, who was back on Earth, did not.
However, when the Kelly brother, who was in space, landed, gradually, his body returned to the normal condition. Few negative effects of the mission are still noted on Kelly. This has posed a challenge for researchers as they explore longer space flight including travel to Mars. The complete NASA twins study can be accessed in the journal Science.