NASA is just days away from slamming a spacecraft into an asteroid 7 million miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth. The agency’s long-awaited Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission will impact with the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos on Monday (Sept. 26), if all goes according to plan.
The DART mission launched on Nov. 23, 2021 on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and is now hurtling through deep space toward the binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos.
The mission, which is managed by the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL), is humanity’s first attempt to determine if we could alter the course of an asteroid, a feat that might one day be required to save human civilization.
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It’s finally happening – NASA’s DART mission will come into full force on Monday night when its spacecraft is expected to crash into its target asteroid at nearly 15,000 mph. https://t.co/DzpZTgluo3
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 23, 2022
In the first-of-its kind experiment, NASA is about to clobber a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles away to change its path slightly.
If successful, the test will show that if a killer asteroid ever heads for Earth, there’d be a fighting chance. pic.twitter.com/tRYBv6UvlF
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 22, 2022
When NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) slams into the tiny asteroid Dimorphos, it will be our first attempt to demonstrate our ability to deflect dangerous incoming asteroids. https://t.co/UC3XP590Xf
— Scientific American (@sciam) September 21, 2022
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) September 23, 2022