Good News, NASA’s Asteroid Defense Test Was a Success!

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The odds are greatly against an asteroid ever making contact with Earth, but just in case … well, you’ll be happy to know NASA’s plan to knock an asteroid off course actually worked.

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Known as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART for short, a NASA spacecraft was directed toward an asteroid with the purpose of slamming into it. The idea was to alter this particular asteroid’s orbit around another asteroid.

Again, mission completed.

All of this occurred about 7 million miles from Earth, where an asteroid called Dimorphos is in orbit around a larger asteroid called Didymos. Normally, it takes Dimorphos 11 hours and 55 minutes to make its orbit. But thanks to DART, it only took only 11 hours and 23 minutes.

NASA’s Asteroid Defense Test Was a Success!

Thirty-two minutes may not sound like much, but the good people of NASA will tell you it’s a major difference.

“This is a watershed moment for defense,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said, via NASA. “This mission shows that NASA is trying to be ready for whatever the universe throws at us.”

So bring it on, asteroids. NASA can now dart you in another direction if it so pleases.

“All of us have a responsibility to protect our home planet,” Nelson said. “After all, it’s the only one we have.”

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