SpaceX and Nasa want to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid

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SpaceX and Nasa want to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid

SpaceX and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) have announced plans to intentionally crash a satellite into an asteroid.

The point of the collision is to determine whether it is possible to redirect the course of an asteroid threatening Earth.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (Dart) will launch on Tuesday, 23 November.

“Nasa will intentionally crash the Dart spacecraft into an asteroid to see if that is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future,” SpaceX said.

Nasa completed the static fire test, which checks engine temperature and pressure on startup, on Friday.

Dart is targeting the Didymos binary asteroid with two bodies, Didymos A and B.

While the asteroid was of no threat to the planet (it would have bypassed Earth safely in 2022 and 2024), Nasa has identified at least 23 objects that could collide with Earth over the next 100 years.

The Dart spacecraft is an essential step in developing a defence mechanism to protect humankind from such threats.


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