Firing powerful nukes at an Earth-threatening asteroid is not exactly the best idea for saving the world. Chunks of the asteroid would still be on a collision course with us. Instead, hitting the space rock hard enough to change its trajectory is a much better idea.
There’s a big chance that hitting an asteroid hard enough will make it change its trajectory. Just a small tilt caused by the smash can result in the space rock safely missing its “target”. That’s what NASA has in mind when it comes to the DART mission.
No Earth-threatening asteroid is approaching yet
Astronomers aren’t aware of any asteroid that will hit us in the recent future and leave behind some disastrous aftermath. But that doesn’t mean that the world doesn’t need to prepare for the worst-case scenario, which is why the DART mission is launching soon in the first place.
NASA will launch the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft on November 24 to see for sure if the idea to deflect an asteroid by smashing into it will work. Behold the relevant video:
The video’s description says it all:
As a test of NASA’s planetary defense technologies, DART will collide with and slightly change the speed of Dimorphos, a small ‘moonlet’ orbiting the asteroid Didymos. Dimorphos will be over 6 million miles away at the time of impact and does not pose a threat to Earth, either before or after DART’s collision. With nearby satellites and Earth-based telescopes, NASA and our international partners will track DART’s effect on Dimorphos and use this data to help protect Earth from future asteroid impact threats.
Hopefully, Earth will never be threatened by a giant asteroid similar to the one that killed the dinosaurs tens of millions of years ago. Such events are very rare in the history of Earth, as astronomers claim.
Tommy’s hobby has always been playing video games. He enjoys competing in video games tournaments and writing about his experience. It’s not a big surprise that he mostly covers the latest trends from the gaming industry.