Nasa gears up to deflect asteroid, in key test of planetary defence

Artist's illustration from NASA shows the Dart spacecraft from behind prior to impact at the Didymos binary system. – AFP/Nasa/Johns Hopkins APL pic, September 23, 2022.

NASA on Monday will attempt a feat humanity has never before accomplished, deliberately smacking a spacecraft into an asteroid to slightly deflect its orbit, in a key test of our ability to stop cosmic objects from devastating life on Earth.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (Dart) spaceship launched from California last November and is fast approaching its target, which it will strike at roughly 23,000 kph.

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