NASA crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid to deflect it

NASA's DART mission that will collide with an asteroid on Monday

ivan rodriguez gelfenstein

"We're going to deflect an asteroid," said Tom Statler, NASA's program scientist for the DART mission.

A NASA spacecraft will deliberately collide with an asteroid called Dimorphos on Monday.

The DART spacecraft is the size of a school bus. It has traveled to reach its asteroid target since its launch in November 2021. The spacecraft will arrive in the asteroid system on September 26. The impact is expected at 7:14 p.m. (Miami time).

The DART mission, or Double Asteroid Redirection Test, aims to test whether this type of kinetic impact can help deflect an asteroid that poses a threat to Earth.

"We are going to change the movement of a natural celestial body in space. Humanity has never done this before."

Didymos, which means "twin" in Greek, has a diameter of about 780 meters. As for Dimorphos, it measures about 160 meters in diameter and its name means "two forms".

Neither Dimorphos nor Didymos pose a risk of collision with Earth, either before or after the mission.

Dimorphos was chosen for this mission because it is comparable in size to asteroids that could pose a threat to Earth. An asteroid the size of Dimorphos could cause "regional devastation" if it collides with Earth.

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