NASA says its test mission to protect earth succeeded by altering an asteroid’s trajectory

NASA says its test mission to protect the earth has succeeded in paving the way for the building of a fully-fledged defence system.

An announcement by the space agency on Tuesday, October 11 said that the asteroid into which they purposely crashed a spacecraft had changed trajectory.

The first time that humanity is known to have achieved such an event, the rocket altered the motion of the asteroid just enough for it to move away from its original orbit. That NASA scientists say could be enough to protect the earth in the future.

NASA Chief Bill Nelson told reporters: “This is a watershed moment for planetary defence and a watershed moment for humanity.”

The DART rocket mission cost some $330 million (€350 million) and took seven years to develop. An engineering feat, NASA were able to guide the rocket into an asteroid no bigger than a football stadium hundreds of thousands of miles away.

DART flew directly into Dimorphos at around 14,000 mph (22,531 kph), which resulted in a 32-minute shortening of its trajectory. That proved that the method was a viable technique in deflecting an asteroid such as the one thought to have killed off the dinosaurs, from destroying earth and humankind.

The proof concept test wherein NASA says its test mission to protect the earth succeeded, will be welcomed by the scientific and astronomic community given that it also holds other possibilities.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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