DART asteroid smasher’s tiny companion spots Earth and stars (photos)

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The DART spacecraft’s tiny companion is ready to photograph a brand-new impact site Monday night (Sept. 26).

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission carried a cubesat known as the Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging Asteroids, or LICIACube, which it deployed on Sept. 11. The main DART spacecraft’s mission will end tonight when it slams into an asteroid called Dimorphos to test a technique for deflecting a hazardous space rock should one ever threaten Earth. And LICIACube will fly past Dimorphos just three minutes after the impact to photograph the mess of debris kicked up by the collision.



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