NASA will launch a special mission to redirect the asteroid. This celestial body does not threaten Earth, but the agency is training for future threats.
The launch of the NASA DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission is scheduled for July 22, 2021. This is a demonstration mission to see if kinetic shock can be used to deflect an asteroid from the Earth. It will head towards a tiny binary asteroid system called Didymos (or 65803 Didymos). This dual asteroid system poses no threat to Earth.
The larger of the asteroids, Didymos A is about 780 m in diameter and the smaller one, Didymos B is about 160 m. DART will crash into Didymos B because it is close to the typical size of an asteroid that could threaten the Earth in the future.
DART will reach its target on September 22, 2021, when the binary asteroid will be within 11 million km of the Earth. And in order to get there, it will use a powerful ion engine, the evolutionary NASA xenon accelerator. The engine consists of two main components: a thruster and a power processor. It’s yet to be tested.
Previously, it was known that the SP1 asteroid, 70 to 160 meters long, was approaching Earth. NASA discovered a space object on Sept. 19, and the organization listed it as near-Earth. SP1 will approach the Earth as close as possible to 5.87 million km – 15 times the distance to the moon.