NASA Crashes a Satellite into an AsteroidOn September 25, NASA deliberately crashed a satellite
On September 25, NASA deliberately crashed a satellite into an asteroid, inducing a 14,000 mile per hour collision 7 million miles away from Earth. The satellite was launched from California ten months prior to the collision as a part of NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). DART’s purpose was to test out ways to deflect and interrupt an asteroid's trajectory in space. NASA launched this program with the concern that Earth may get hit by an asteroid in the future, which could cause any amount of damage, ranging from destruction on a relatively small scale to wiping out the entire planet. DART was fueled by the Planetary Defense Coordination Office, a governmental body solely created for planetary defense missions.
The collision was a success, after the golf cart-sized satellite directly collided with the 530 foot asteroid, scientists detected a change in the asteroid's trajectory. The asteroid that was hit, named Dimorphos, is a moonlet, meaning it orbits around a larger asteroid, and Dimorphos’s orbit is now expected to have shortened ten minutes. This change, while seemingly insignificant, is representative of centuries of scientific discoveries and astronomical projections utilized to increase safety and defend our planet. Essentially, changing the trajectory of an asteroid will protect the Earth if in harm's way, and the process created in DART can now be applied to larger asteroids if the future ever calls for such a defense. Furthermore, DART is just the beginning of what astronomists can develop to protect the planet and the problems they will try to solve. DART is the creation of a whole new realm of spac
NASA has yet again transformed an idea, only existing in science fiction, into fact. Humans have now found ways to defend our planet from objects in outer space, a feat that could not even have been imagined twenty years ago. As technology rapidly advances in our modern era, the ability for the human race to survive increases as well.