NASA’s DART Mission Hits Asteroid in First-Ever Planetary Defense Test – Could This Be Connected to the Biblical War of Gog and Magog?

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Asteroid moonlet Dimorphos as seen by the DART spacecraft 11 seconds before impact. DART’s on board DRACO imager captured this image from a distance of 42 miles (68 kilometers). This image was the last to contain all of Dimorphos in the field of view. Dimorphos is roughly 525 feet (160 meters) in length. Dimorphos’ north is toward the top of the image.
Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL


NASA’s DART Mission Hits Asteroid in First-Ever Planetary Defense Test

After 10 months flying in space, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) – the world’s first planetary defense technology demonstration – successfully impacted its asteroid target on Monday, the agency’s first attempt to move an asteroid in space.


Mission control at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, announced the successful impact at 7:14 p.m. EDT.


As a part of NASA’s overall planetary defense strategy, DART’s impact with the asteroid Dimorphos demonstrates a viable mitigation technique for protecting the planet from an Earth-bound asteroid or comet, if one were discovered.


“At its core, DART represents an unprecedented success for planetary defense, but it is also a mission of unity with a real benefit for all humanity,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “As NASA studies the cosmos and our home planet, we’re also working to protect that home, and this international collaboration turned science fiction into science fact, demonstrating one way to protect Earth.”


DART targeted the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos, a small body just 530 feet (160 meters) in diameter. It orbits a larger, 2,560-foot (780-meter) asteroid called Didymos. Neither asteroid poses a threat to Earth.


The mission’s one-way trip confirmed NASA can successfully navigate a spacecraft to intentionally collide with an asteroid to deflect it, a technique known as kinetic impact.


The investigation team will now observe Dimorphos using ground-based telescopes to confirm that DART’s impact altered the asteroid’s orbit around Didymos. Researchers expect the impact to shorten Dimorphos’ orbit by about 1%, or roughly 10 minutes; precisely measuring how much the asteroid was deflected is one of the primary purposes of the full-scale test.


“Planetary Defense is a globally unifying effort that affects everyone living on Earth,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Now we know we can aim a spacecraft with the precision needed to impact even a small body in space. Just a small change in its speed is all we need to make a significant difference in the path an asteroid travels.”


The spacecraft’s sole instrument, the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO), together with a sophisticated guidance, navigation and control system that works in tandem with Small-body Maneuvering Autonomous Real Time Navigation (SMART Nav) algorithms, enabled DART to identify and distinguish between the two asteroids, targeting the smaller body.


These systems guided the 1,260-pound (570-kilogram) box-shaped spacecraft through the final 56,000 miles (90,000 kilometers) of space into Dimorphos, intentionally crashing into it at roughly 14,000 miles (22,530 kilometers) per hour to slightly slow the asteroid’s orbital speed. DRACO’s final images, obtained by the spacecraft seconds before impact, revealed the surface of Dimorphos in close-up detail.


Fifteen days before impact, DART’s CubeSat companion Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids (LICIACube), provided by the Italian Space Agency, deployed from the spacecraft to capture images of DART’s impact and of the asteroid’s resulting cloud of ejected matter. In tandem with the images returned by DRACO, LICIACube’s images are intended to provide a view of the collision’s effects to help researchers better characterize the effectiveness of kinetic impact in deflecting an asteroid. Because LICIACube doesn’t carry a large antenna, images will be downlinked to Earth one by one in the coming weeks.


“DART’s success provides a significant addition to the essential toolbox we must have to protect Earth from a devastating impact by an asteroid,” said Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer. “This demonstrates we are no longer powerless to prevent this type of natural disaster. Coupled with enhanced capabilities to accelerate finding the remaining hazardous asteroid population by our next Planetary Defense mission, the Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor, a DART successor could provide what we need to save the day.”


With the asteroid pair within 7 million miles (11 million kilometers) of Earth, a global team is using dozens of telescopes stationed around the world and in space to observe the asteroid system. Over the coming weeks, they will characterize the ejecta produced and precisely measure Dimorphos’ orbital change to determine how effectively DART deflected the asteroid. The results will help validate and improve scientific computer models critical to predicting the effectiveness of this technique as a reliable method for asteroid deflection.


“This first-of-its-kind mission required incredible preparation and precision, and the team exceeded expectations on all counts,” said APL Director Ralph Semmel. “Beyond the truly exciting success of the technology demonstration, capabilities based on DART could one day be used to change the course of an asteroid to protect our planet and preserve life on Earth as we know it.”


Roughly four years from now, the European Space Agency’s Hera project will conduct detailed surveys of both Dimorphos and Didymos, with a particular focus on the crater left by DART’s collision and a precise measurement of Dimorphos’ mass.

Comment: If Mankind Gains the Knowledge to Deflect an Asteroid Away From the Earth, They Then they could eventually Gain the Knowledge to Deflect an Asteroid towards the Earth to Slam into Designated Targets!

The Prophet Yechezkel (Ezekiel) in Chapter 38 Verse 22 Predicts that Stones of Elgavish (Translated By Some As Meteors, While Others Claim These Are Hail Stones) Will Be Tossed Upon the Warriors of Gog and Magog Who Have Come to Steal the Land of Israel From the Nation of Israel

Perhaps modern technology pushing asteroids towards the warriors of Gog and Magog will be the fulfillment of the Biblical verse of Yechezkel: “I will punish him with pestilence and with bloodshed; and I will pour torrential rain, stones of Elgavish {hailstones or meteors}, and sulfurous fire upon him and his hordes and the many peoples with him”.

What is the Evidence that the Stones of Elgavish are Hailstones and what is the Evidence that the Stones of Elgavish are Meteors?

Shmot / Exodus 9:33 as translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan states:
Moses left Pharaoh’s presence, and went out of the city. As soon as he spread his hands out to God, the thunder ceased, and the hail and rain stopped falling to the ground.

Midrash Tanchuma and Midrash Shmot Rabba assert that the leftover hail that stopped falling to the ground at the end of the plague of hail, will resume during the War of Gog and Magog as the stones of Elgavish. The Talmud however, in tractate Brachot 54a states:

The Sages taught: One who sees the crossings of the {Red or Reed} Sea, and the crossings of the Jordan; and the crossings of the streams of Arnon; the stones of Elgavish on the descent of Beit Ḥoron; the rock that Og, King of Bashan, sought to hurl upon Israel; and the rock upon which Moses sat when Joshua waged war against Amalek; and Lot’s wife; and the wall of Jericho that was swallowed up in its place. On all of these miracles one must give thanks and {offer} praise before Hashem.

If the Elgavish stones were hail stones, they should have melted by the time the Talmud was recorded. The fact that they were still around during the time of the Talmud implies they must be meteors (which do not melt) and not ice. But for the person that insists Elgavish stones must be hailstones, I will point out that comets are made out of ice and perhaps one day Dart technology might be used to divert comets towards the forces of Gog and Magog.

Doesn’t Yechezkel 38:22 Imply that it is Hashem and Not Man that Sends the Elgavish Stones on Gog and Magog?

Sometimes Hashem amplifies the strength and effectiveness of the war efforts of the Jewish people by more than a thousand as the verse states in Dvarim / Deut. 32:30 How could one [man] pursue a thousand or two [men], ten thousand, if their Mighty One had not given them over and God had not trapped them? And it says in Yehoshua 23:10
One man of you has chased a thousand; for Hashem your L-rd, it is he that fought for you, as he has spoken to you.

Because Hashem is amplifying the power of man to such a great degree, the fight is described as Hashem’s fight against the enemy in many of the Biblical wars of Israel. However, in many of the Biblical wars of Israel, the soldiers of Israel also have an active part. So it is possible, that the Elgavish stones tossed by Hashem on Gog and Magog is also an amplification of human effort, to divert an asteroid or comet in the direction of Gog and Magog.

From Tosafot Yeshanim to Tractate Yoma page 38, We Learn from the Showbread – We Are Not Supposed to rely on a Miracle If We Could Accomplish the Task by Human Effort

The Talmud in tractate Yoma relates that during the period of the Second Temple, the Garmu family knew the baking secret, how to properly make the Showbread needed for the Temple service and they refused to share their knowledge with anyone else; but rather used their monopoly on the production of the Showbread to demand very high prices for their services. The sages tried to break the Garmu family monopoly by asking experts from the city of Alexandria to invent a method to produce the Showbread to meet the needs of the Temple.

Unfortunately, the baking method developed by the Alexandria experts did not prevent the Showbread from going stale. So in the end the sages were forced to go back to the Garmu family to obtain Showbread, who in turn doubled their prices as a reaction to the failed attempt to break their monopoly.

Tosafot Yeshanim to tractate Yoma page 38 asks, since there was a miracle that the Showbread remained, steaming hot, as though freshly removed from the oven after 9 days elapsed, why then did the sages, not get a miraculous result when they tried to break the Garmu family monopoly.

He answers even though the bread was hot like the day it was taken, nevertheless what is in the ability of man, the Holy One blessed be He does not wish to fix.

Rabbeinu Bacheyei Makes the Point Explicitly – Not to Rely Just On Miracles in War Situations

To make it easy I will quote from

Rabbenu Bechayei sees no problem with the initiative to send spies. He writes a lengthy comment; we will examine only a short part of it. He introduces his explanation with the verse, “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but safety comes from the Lord” (Mishlei 21:31), and then goes on to praise the efforts to prepare for entry into the land without relying on miracles:

In this verse [from Mishlei], King Shlomo, of blessed memory, urges each and every individual to do whatever he needs to do, through natural means, to the extent of his ability, and to leave the rest to God. For a miracle occurs only when there is a deficiency in nature, while most of what man does is based on the natural dimension. Therefore, a person performs actions and deals with matters in preparation to achieve what he wants and to realize his desires, just as someone who intends to wage war on his enemies should prepare weapons and horses and chariots for the day of battle. For if he does not prepare, relying instead on a miracle, he will be given into the hands of his enemies.

The Practical Value of Developing an Asteroid or Comet Deflection System as a Weapon

When the founders of the modern state of Israel were debating whether to declare the state of Israel despite the risk of an Arab invasion, David Ben-Gurion won an 8 to 7 vote, based on misrepresenting the amount of arms that the new Jewish state possessed to defend itself. There was a big danger, that he might have lost the vote, had the true facts on the ground been known. We see from this precedent, that the amount of weapons possessed by Israel gives courage to the nation to face difficult military situations.

In our times, Israel’s Iron Dome technology and Laser technology, also helps strengthen Israel’s courage to defy enemies who threaten to launch missiles if their demands are not met. Having a new super-weapon, like an asteroid or comet deflection weapon, might be a source of courage, for the nation of Israel to stand firm against the threats of Gog and Magog.

See the post, Building New Israeli Settlements – The Opinion of the Gaon – according to Kol Hator

for more about our obligation to take natural measures to win the War of Gog and Magog.

post by Shlomo Moshe Scheinmanh

Comment #1:

In the Talmud tractate Yoma page 39, we are informed, that during the 40-year period that Shimon Hatzaddik served as Cohain Gadol (High Priest) in the 2nd Temple there was a blessing in the Showbread and everyone that ate from it, even if it was only the size of an olive felt satiated. After these 40 years, the Talmud said a curse was sent into the Showbread and one needed to eat much more of it to feel satiated. One might argue that the blessing that the Showbread remained hot for 9 days, also had stopped when the Sages tried to break the monopoly of the Garmu family. This would weaken the proof of Tosafot Yeshanim mentioned above.

Comment #2

In contrast to Rabbeinu Bachayei, Rashi seems to view the sending of spies by Moshe (Moses) in Bamidbar (Numbers) chapter 13 in a negative light. But even Rashi views the sending of spies in Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:32 in a positive light. In general, it is probable that Rashi agrees with Rabbeinu Bachayei, however, there must have been a special problem associated with the spy mission of Bamidbar (Numbers) Chapter 13 that was solved in Bamidbar (Numbers) 21:32 according to Rashi.