We don’t want to be flying an untested capability when we’re trying to save a population on the Earth’s surface.NASA’s Lindley Johnson, chief of planetary defense, on a new mission to crash into an asteroid.
- On November 24, at approximately 1:21 a.m. Eastern time, NASA launched a Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft – the first of its kind.
- The spacecraft is the size of a refrigerator and weighs about 1200 pounds.
- The goal of this spacecraft? Crash into an asteroid and knock it off its course.
- The collision course with the asteroid will take a little less than a year; the expectation is that the spacecraft will hit the asteroid sometime late next year (Sept. or Oct. 2022).
Why It Matters: While this particular asteroid poses no threat to Earth, the question remains about “What if?” What if an asteroid was barreling towards Earth? How would we defend against it? NASA says this test will help us find answers.
by Jenna Lee,