NASA’s DART spacecraft makes contact with asteroid

Ship's 10-month journey through space ends in success

At 14,000 miles per hour somewhere in space more than seven million miles from Earth, NASA’s DART spacecraft made contact tonight with Dimorphos — a 525-foot-wide moon orbiting a 2,500-foot-wide asteroid named Didymos.

And it did it all without the help of Bruce Willis and Aerosmith.

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, DART for short, serves one purpose — not to destroy an asteroid, but rather to redirect one.

While NASA says there is no asteroid currently on course to make contact with our planet this century, that could change — and this is where DART comes in.

DART’s collision with the asteroid serves as a test to see whether or not the impact could send an incoming asteroid off course just enough to avoid making contact with Earth.

The DART ship’s 10-month mission ended successfully with regard to its physical impact … but now the next test begins — will the asteroid’s trajectory in space be altered?

It’s something that could take weeks for NASA scientists to know.

From here, global and interstellar telescopes like the Hubble and James Webb space observatories will be ready to see if Earth could soon have a new form of planetary self-defense.

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