Nasa's spacecraft successfully knocked an asteroid off course in historic test of Earth defense


At the end of September, the Dart mission ship deliberately crashed into its target, the asteroid Dimorphos, which is the satellite of a larger asteroid named Didymos.

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This is’“a watershed moment for planetary defense” and for Humanity”, according to NASA chief Bill Nelson. The American space agency succeeded in diverting an asteroid from its trajectory, by projecting a spacecraft against its surface at the end of September during an unprecedented test mission, NASA announced on Tuesday, October 11.

The Dart mission ship purposely crashed into its target, the asteroid Dimorphos, which is the satellite of a larger asteroid named Didymos. The NASA device managed to move it, reducing its orbit by 32 minutes, Bill Nelson said at a press conference.

Threat training

It would have already been “considered a huge success if he [le vaisseau] had only reduced the orbit by about 10 minutes. But he actually cut it by 32 minutes.”, welcomed the head of NASA. With this assignment, “Nasa has proven that we are serious as defenders of the planet”, he asserted.

Dimorphos, located some 11 million kilometers from Earth at the time of impact, is about 160 meters in diameter and poses no danger to our planet. The Dart mission is the first to test such a technique. It allows NASA to train in case an asteroid threatens to hit Earth one day.



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