Nasa prepares for "doomsday" by hitting asteroid with multi-million dollar spacecraft
    VIDEO

    WORLD  27 September 2022 - 10:02

    A multimillion-dollar spacecraft collided head-on with an asteroid the size of a football stadium on September 27 in an unprecedented test of Nasa’s capacity to defend Earth from a doomsday scenario.

    Nasa’s craft successfully crashed into the asteroid Dimorphos 6.8m miles from Earth. The mission, known as Dart (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), marked humanity’s first attempt at moving another celestial body, with the goal of seeing if a large asteroid hurtling toward our planet could be successfully diverted, according to The Guardian.

    The spacecraft collided with the asteroid at 15,000mph at 7.14 pm EDT. The live-streamed video showed the asteroid’s rubble-strewn surface looming into focus before the spacecraft hit and cheers erupted in the mission control room. Teams of Nasa and Johns Hopkins University scientists hugged each other as Dart’s successful impact with Dimorphos was confirmed.

    Shortly after impact, Lori Glaze, Nasa’s planetary science division director, declared it a “new era of humankind”.

    “[It’s] an era in which we potentially have the capability to protect ourselves from something like a dangerous hazardous asteroid impact,” said Glaze. “What an amazing thing. We’ve never had that capability before.”

    Samson Reony, the Johns Hopkins applied physics laboratory mission commentator, was equally exuberant about the “game-changing” achievement. “This is when science, engineering and a great purpose, planetary defence, come together, and, you know, it makes a magical moment like this,” he said.

    The test aims to determine if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its trajectory. A relatively similar strategy involving a nuclear missile rather than an unmanned spacecraft failed during a key point in the plot of Morgan Freeman’s fictional 1998 planetary disaster film Deep Impact.

    Caliber.Az

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