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NASA to crash spacecraft into asteroid in Armageddon test

NASA has revealed plans to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid next week to test our defenses against potentially deadly asteroids.

To assess NASA’s current defenses, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) was established in 2021 and is expected to take place next week.

DART will see a small spacecraft target an asteroid that is not currently on its way to Earth in a bid to test our ability to escape an Armageddon event.

The spacecraft will fly into the asteroid named Dimorphos at around four miles per second and hopefully knock the asteroid out of orbit.

Why does NASA crash a spacecraft into an asteroid? Listen to the latest episode of The Science Briefing below:

Experts believe the test will help us devise a contingency plan in the unlikely event that an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth.

The asteroid in question is not considered a threat to Earth and is located approximately 20 million kilometers away.

Dr. Sophie Calabretto chats with Cosmo Magazine science reporter Matthew Agius, who explains exactly what we can expect when the spacecraft collides with the asteroid.

“It’s an asteroid the size of a football field, it’s about 160 meters in diameter,” he said.

“However, Dimorphos is just a baby in asteroid terms. It orbits a 780-meter-wide parent asteroid called Didymos.

“There are two goals with this project…the question is whether we can actually hit a small distant object with a very fast moving spacecraft and the second goal is to see how Dimorphos actually reacts on impact. “

Find previous episodes of The Science Briefing below or download them LiSTNR and enjoy a new audio world. All your favorite shows and stations in one library.


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