The £240million mission is set to take place in September as new technology is being developed to launch a half-ton spacecraft into an asteroid called Dimorphos similar to the Netflix movie Don’t Look Up
Image: Getty Images/RF Science Photo Library)
NASA is about to crash an asteroid with a plane at 23,000 kilometers per hour to prevent it from colliding with Earth.
The £240million mission is set to take place in September as new technology is being developed to launch a half-tonne spacecraft into an asteroid called Dimorphos.
The concept bears similarities to the recent Netflix movie Don’t Look Up – where scientists attempted to warn the public of the imminent danger of an asteroid coming to earth and the US government embarked on the launch of a spaceship on it.
The DART mission, which is short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, was developed by Andy Cheng, chief scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, along with a principal investigator.
Getty Images/Stocktrek Images)
Dr Cheng told the Financial Times: “It’s very exciting – like a dream come true – that something we’ve been thinking about for 20 years is actually happening.”
Dr Cheng speculated that the DART impact could alter the shape of the asteroid.
Fortunately, none of the approximately 27,000 identified “Near-Earth Objects” pose a significant risk to our planet.
However, the findings of the DART mission could provide invaluable information should a threat emerge.
Dr Cheng said: “In an emergency, we could take a spacecraft being built for another purpose, add a new guidance system and send it to hit the asteroid. We might need more of a spaceship.”
Getty Images/RF Science Photo Library)
The main DART craft was launched into space last November.
It will measure and monitor the impact and another spacecraft, sent by the European Space Agency in 2026, will analyze every element of the impact.
NASA said, “DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to studying and demonstrating a method of deflecting asteroids by altering an asteroid’s motion through space through kinetic impact.”
It comes as NASA warned of a giant space rock 3.5 million miles from our planet heading in our direction.
Asteroid 467460 (2006 JF42) is expected to approach Earth next week.
Last month, the largest comet on record at 500 trillion tons was moving towards Earth at 22,000 miles per hour.
C/2014 UN271, or Bernardinelli-Bernstein, has a core about 80 miles in diameter, roughly the distance between London and Stonehenge.
The comet is currently traveling at 22,000 mph and coming from the edge of the solar system.
However, NASA assures us that it will never come within a billion miles of the sun, and that won’t be until 2031.