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NASA Confirms Its Defense Test Was Successful

NASA Confirms Its Defense Test Was Successful

(RepublicanPress.org) – While the movie “Armageddon” tells the fictional story of an oil-drilling crew derailing an asteroid headed for Earth, part of NASA’s actual purpose is finding ways to protect the planet from such catastrophes. The organization’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) monitors space, reporting any potentially dangerous objects. On September 26, NASA directed a spacecraft into an asteroid as a test to see if it could change the trajectory.

After monitoring the situation for about two weeks, officials from the space agency and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory revealed the mission was a success. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) impacted the Dimorphos asteroid, shifting its set orbit by around 32 minutes. Although the targeted object was never a threat to the planet, the defense strategy shows redirecting threats in the future is possible.

Dimorphos is classified as an asteroid moonlet, as it orbits around a bigger asteroid called Didymos. The DART self-directed to the smaller object, and millions watched live as it smashed onto its surface at about 15,000 mph. Before impact, it took the moonlet nearly 12 hours to go around its larger twin, but it now takes 4% less time to make the journey, The New York Post reported.

NASA reported that Administrator Bill Nelson said the mission’s outcome is proof that the organization can handle “whatever the universe” throws at them. Currently, there are no threatening asteroids headed for Earth. Meanwhile, Washington’s NASA Planetary Science Division Lori Glaze was quoted saying she believes the mission is an “important step” toward learning more about how DART affects its target. She says more data will help determine whether the program can protect the Earth down the road.

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