There was a magical time, back in the year 1998, when those lucky enough to be alive witnessed not one, but two ridiculous Hollywood movies about asteroids on a collision course with Earth. That back when end of the world scenarios were fun. We live in different times. Nowadays we want to prevent the apocalypse, not enjoy it as light entertainment. So NASA has developed a plan to punch an asteroid in the face with a spaceship. Here’s more from MOTHERBOARD:
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), due for launch this summer, is NASA’s first flight demonstration for planetary defense—in other words, it’s a spaceship that will directly punch an asteroid.
The mission’s target is an asteroid system called Didymos, which contains two space rocks that orbit each other. In late 2022, DART will forcefully impact the smaller asteroid in this system, a tiny moon called Dimorphos, so that scientists can assess the feasibility of knocking any space rocks that threaten Earth off course in the future.
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