NASA to ram distant asteroid in bid to avoid future catastrophes on Earth

Spacecraft's collision impact with the target asteriod uses 'kinetic impactor' method to cause deflection

Photo by Laurenz Heymann on Unsplash

Photo by Laurenz Heymann on Unsplash

A robotic Nasa spacecraft is programmed to ram itself into a distant asteroid at 14,000 miles per hour (25,500 kilometres per hour) in deep space to demonstrate the agency’s future ability to defend Earth from hazardous space rocks on Monday. 

It’s a fast action scene straight out of a sci-fi movie:  The spacecraft, named DART, will first spot an asteroid the size of a football stadium named Dimorphos as a single pixel in its camera. About an hour later, if all goes as planned, DART will smash into its target with enough force to nudge the big space rock ever so slightly off course. The scene will play out nearly 7 million miles from Earth.

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First Published: Sep 25 2022 | 10:02 PM IST

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