The American space agency NASA has successfully collided with a space rock at high speed. It happened exactly as planned at 1.14 am Dutch time. The collision changes the course of the space rock, but exactly how much remains to be seen in the near future.
NASA is investigating whether such a maneuver could change the course of an asteroid that threatens to hit Earth.
“Now the science begins,” NASA’s Lori Glaze said after it became clear that the rock had been hit. “Now we’re really going to see how effective we’ve been.”
IMPACT SUCCESS! Watch from #DARTMIssion’s DRACO Camera, as the vending machine-sized spacecraft successfully collides with asteroid Dimorphos, which is the size of a football stadium and poses no threat to Earth.
September 27, 2022
It is the first time that it is tested whether the earth could be defended in this way. DART, which stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, was launched in November 2021 for it. DART collided at about 20,000 kilometers per hour. The experiment cost all together $325 million.
According to scientists, ‘we’ are on time with the test. The threat of a very large impact on Earth is not that great for the time being, it is estimated. Of all the asteroids that orbit the sun close to Earth, not one larger than 140 meters will hit in the next century. NASA notes that we do not yet know half of all asteroids, and that even smaller boulders are still unknown. can cause considerable damage.
The European Space Agency (ESA) will send a probe to the space rock in two years’ time to assess the damage more precisely.