NASA Launched a Spacecraft to Crash Into an Asteroid
NASA assures that while a small moonlet the size of a football stadium will be hit with a spacecraft the size of a vending machine; it is not a hazard to Earth.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Wednesday that the Falcon 9 carrier rocket with the Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) spacecraft, which is expected to crash into an asteroid to test the Earth’s protection technology, has been launched.
Asteroid Dimorphos: we're coming for you!— NASA (@NASA) November 24, 2021
Riding a @SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, our #DARTMission blasted off at 1:21am EST (06:21 UTC), launching the world's first mission to test asteroid-deflecting technology. pic.twitter.com/FRj1hMyzgH
Furthermore, NASA confirmed earlier that it will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s first planetary defense test mission, DART.
“The mission will help determine if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course,” NASA added.
The DART mission was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in the US State of California.
The spacecraft is expected to hit the smaller asteroid of the two-asteroid system Didymos and alter its trajectory through kinetic impact.
The diameter of the smaller asteroid, known as Dimporphos, is about 160 meters (530 feet) while the larger is about 780 meters, but they pose no threat to Earth.
The size of the DART is hundreds of times smaller than Dimorphos and will hit it at the speed of 24,000 kilometers per hour (14,900 miles per hour), according to NASA.