A NASA Spacecraft Has Just Crashed Into An Asteroid…

What sounds like a science fiction plot in a movie is something NASA has just reportedly done.

In an official announcement, NASA has declared it has successfully redirected an asteroid by crashing a spacecraft into one.

NASA launched the DART spacecraft in November of 2021 and, just hours ago, successfully crashed into the asteroid called Dimophos.

It appears NASA wants to try to eliminate the “what if a giant asteroid hits the earth and starts an ice age” argument.

CNN had more on the story:

A NASA spacecraft has successfully slammed into an asteroid called Dimorphos.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission, or DART, spacecraft has been traveling to reach its asteroid target since launching in November 2021. On Monday, it hit its target going about 13,421 miles per hour.

The spacecraft was about 100 times smaller than Dimorphos, so it didn’t obliterate the asteroid. Instead, DART hopes the collision changed the asteroid’s speed and path in space. The mission team has compared this collision to a golf cart crashing into one of the Great Pyramids – enough energy to leave an impact crater.

Scientists expect the nudge will shift Dimorphos slightly and make it more gravitationally bound to Didymos, the larger asteroid in the system.

Next steps: Ground-based observatories around the world will be observing the asteroid system as a way to confirm if DART successfully changed the asteroid’s motion. The James Webb Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Lucy mission will also observe the aftermath.

BBC got the scoop too:

The American space agency’s Dart probe has smashed into an asteroid, destroying itself in the process.

The collision was intentional and designed to test whether space rocks that might threaten Earth could be nudged safely out of the way.

Dart’s camera returned an image per second, right up to the moment of impact with the target – a 160m-wide object called Dimorphos.

What had been a steady image stream cut out as the probe was obliterated.

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