NASA testing 'Armageddon'-like mission with DART spacecraft _ USA TODAY

  • 2 years ago
NASA launched a special spacecraft to intentionally crash into an asteroid millions of miles from Earth. On September 26, it will finally collide.

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Asteroids frequently get close to striking Earth, but it has been more than 65 million years since a catastrophic collision with our planet. There has been renewed interest in objects hurtling toward us since the popularity of the 2021 doomsday comedy "Don’t Look Up." NASA will test its plan in case the scenario ever actually plays out. "We want to do it now rather than when there’s an actual need," said NASA program executive Andrea Riley.

The space agency's Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, will crash into the asteroid Dimorphos, which orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos, next month. Scientists say neither asteroid is headed toward Earth, but Dimorphos, an estimated 520 feet long, is an asteroid that could cause significant damage if it were to hit Earth, NASA says.

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