NASA on Tuesday night successfully launched its experimental asteroid deflection spacecraft, which is set to hit an asteroid at 15,000 mph and counter any future doomsday scenarios. where a large space rock could end up on a collision course. Earth.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), developed by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Tuesday at approximately 10.20 a.m. local time on SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 rocket.
Sometime in 2022, the DART spacecraft is expected to collide into the asteroid Dimorphos, which orbits a large satellite called Didymos—none of which poses a threat to Earth at the moment—with the potential to deflect its course. with hope.
Following the collision, telescopes on Earth will be used to assess Dimorphos’ orbit to check whether the impact has changed its course.
The Dart spacecraft is the first time NASA is also testing a so-called planetary defense that could in theory be used to protect a city or even an entire planet from a catastrophic asteroid impact.
Despite NASA testing its response to a doomsday scenario, scientists believe there are no asteroids in space that currently threaten Earth.