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An unmanned spacecraft built for NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) successfully slammed into the Dimorphos asteroid Monday evening, which aims to test a technique that scientists hope will help detect dangerous asteroids threatening Earth. can prevent insertion.

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1,260 lb Dart spacecraft crashed In Dimorphos — which is about 525 feet wide — at about 14,000 mph, aiming to change the asteroid’s orbit by a tiny amount will be measured Over the next few weeks, according to NASA and Johns Hopkins University, which built the spacecraft for the US space agency.

The DART spacecraft met its hideous end nearly 10 months after it launched from california In November, spending part of the travel test navigation system,

Monday’s crash was seen by LICIACube, a small Italian Made partner check Which split off from DART earlier this month, rigged up cameras to record the test.

amazing facts

Dimorphos never posed any risk to our planet, but johns hopkins Say it was "the ideal candidate for mankind's first planetary defense experiment." It orbits around a large Sun-orbiting asteroid called Didymos, and its trajectory is easy to see from Earth, allowing scientists to measure how the Dart crash changes Dimorphos' orbit.

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$330 million. This is the total cost of the DART program, according to ReutersA relative deal compared to some of NASA's multi-billion dollar manned space flight contracts and telescope program,

main background

If $330 million seems like a lot to burn on a spacecraft designed to crash into a space rock, NASA and Johns Hopkins say the mission will help prevent potentially destructive asteroids from heading toward Earth. has been designed. DART tested a technique known as "kinetic impact deflection", in which an asteroid's course is changed through a rapid collision with a man-made object, redirecting it away from the planet. . NASA is currently to keep track Some 1,419 near-Earth asteroids have a non-zero chance of hitting Earth, although in some cases, these asteroids are decades or even a century away from the planet. the agency says no known asteroids Those larger than 140 meters—which is enough to cause mass casualties—are a significant threat to the planet in the next century, although even a small asteroid could cause injuries and destruction.

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johns hopkins They say Kinetic impact deflection is the most well-developed known method for deflecting asteroids from Earth, but scientists have offered a few other strategies that could save us from going the way of the dinosaurs. Specifically, a spacecraft fly along Use your gravity to gently nudge an asteroid and rock on a different trajectory. Using a nuclear weapon to destroy an asteroid may have worked Bruce WillsBut some experts Fear explosives could break an asteroid into pieces that are still big enough to hit Earth, and NASA says the asteroid move too fast To destroy minutes or hours before crashing into the planet.

NASA will turn a spacecraft into an asteroid for science! (Forbes)