They did it! Congratulations to the folks at NASA for successfully crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid in the hopes of knocking it off course. Why? Well, they wanted to make sure that if an asteroid is actually headed toward earth, we have the ability to blow it up before it hits us. Or at the very least knock it off it’s path so it misses us.
Watch it happen below. It’s a long video, but the good stuff happens around 1:16:00.
Back in 1998, “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon” were two fictional Hollywood films about people on earth taking steps to prevent an asteroid from slamming into earth. Now? It’s actually happened – as NASA successfully crashed a spacecraft into the asteroid they dubbed Dimorphos.
Now, the earth wasn’t actually in dangers – this was a test of our so-called “interplanetary defense system.” Launching a spacecraft six-point-five-million miles and getting it to hit an object 530-feetin diameter? A success by any measure.
Still, NASA won’t be able to call the mission a complete success until they determine if Dimorphos was actually knocked off course. It orbits a larger, 2,560-foot asteroid called Didymos. The technology may be needed in the future if an asteroid is ever on track to hit Earth. Officials say it could be weeks before they’re able to tell if the asteroid was moved from its orbit in any direction.