Space

NASA Says Dart Mission Succeeded in Shifting Asteroid's Orbit

By Aazam

October 13, 2022

A spacecraft that crashed into a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles from Earth succeeded in shifting the orbit of the space rock, NASA said Tuesday

The US space agency strategically launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test ("DART") spacecraft into the asteroid's path, moving it out of the way

NASA hopes to be able to deflect any asteroid or comet that poses a real threat to Earth

Bill Nelson, NASA administrator, former astronaut and Democratic Florida senator, said: "We showed the world that NASA is serious about being the protector of this planet

"I am absolutely thrilled about today's announcement of an orbital period change due to the Dart effect," said DART principal investigator Christina Thomas.

“I am consistently impressed by this team and the phenomenal observations I was able to make in the two weeks since the impact

Two famous NASA telescopes, Webb and Hubble, captured the moment the spacecraft collided with a moonlit asteroid on Sept. 26

"DART is a test to defend Earth against potential asteroid or comet threats," the space agency said

Dart changed the orbit of the Dimorphic asteroid in 32 minutes. Glaze said the minimum requirement to change the orbital period was "actually only 73 seconds

In one test, another Dart spacecraft, the size of a vending machine, was destroyed when it slammed into an asteroid 7m miles away at 14,000mph