To disclose saving the arena, NASA correct crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid

To disclose saving the arena, NASA correct crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid


  • Science

The DART spacecraft slammed correct into a harmless home rock to exchange its orbit—a tactic that may perhaps well presumably also merely be worn in the future to end a killer asteroid from hitting Earth.

Printed September 26, 2022

13 min read

Laurel, MarylandWhen it comes to seven million miles from Earth, a spacecraft traveling extra than 14,000 miles an hour smashed correct into a diminutive, unsuspecting asteroid that had been floating thru home undisturbed for eons.

The collision between NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft and a 500-foot-wide rock known as Dimorphos, which took space at 7: 14 p.m. ET, marks the first time folks have intentionally modified the direction of a celestial object. It be also the first test of a heroic formula that may perhaps well presumably also merely be worn to deflect any future asteroids that are on a collision direction with Earth.

Whereas scientists are assured that a sparkling ample asteroid to cause planet-wide extinction will now no longer threaten Earth for no now no longer up to a hundred years—after which period it is now no longer easy to foretell their orbits—it is light conceivable that we may perhaps well presumably also merely be greatly stunned by a smaller, potentially city-destroying rock from home. And finally, whether in a entire bunch or thousands or thousands and thousands of years, it is all but determined that existence on Earth will face an existential chance from an asteroid.