NASA plans to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid later this month as part of an experimental test that they hope could one day save the planet. Is anyone else getting serious Armegeddon vibes from this idea?


The Double Asteroid Redirect Test spacecraft, or DART as NASA also calls it, won't be equipped with the likes of Bruce Willis or Ben Affleck but it will be launching a spacecraft at an asteroid. NASA says the first-of-its-kind mission will use DART to impact an asteroid that currently poses no threat to our planet.

DART is a test of our ability to achieve a kinetic impact on an asteroid and observe the asteroid’s response. After DART’s kinetic impact with its target asteroid Dimorphos, an investigation team will measure how much the impact changed the asteroid’s motion in space using telescopes on Earth. This mission engages the international planetary science community and embraces worldwide cooperation to address the global issue of planetary defense.

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Asteroid Impact

Again, the target asteroid poses no threat to Earth and NASA is targeting it simply as a test of the system they have developed in the event an asteroid that did pose a threat were ever to be headed toward the planet. According to Fox 9, KMSP, the impact of DART won't cause any changes to the target asteroid.

DART won't change the orbit of Didymos. It aims to change the speed of the moonlet, Dimorphos. Ground-based telescopes and data from the spacecraft will ultimately tell scientists if their plan worked.


SpaceX Falcon-9 Rocket And Crew Dragon Capsule Launches From Cape Canaveral Sending Astronauts To The International Space Station
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Smash-tacular Space Launch

DART has actually been in space for several months now after being attached to the SpaceX Falcon 9 and launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in November 2021. The spacecraft is expected to make its impact with the asteroid on September 26, 2022.


LOOK: 31 breathtaking images from NASA's public library

In 2017, NASA opened the digital doors to its image and video library website, allowing the public to access more than 140,000 images, videos, and audio files. The collection provides unprecedented views of space. Stacker reviewed the collection to select 31 of the most breathtaking images, including the first from the James Webb Space Telescope. Keep reading to see these stunning images, curated with further information about the captured scenes.

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