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NASA DART Double Asteroid Redirect Test First Planetary Defense Mission Will Crash Into An Asteroid




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Monday, Sept. 26, at 7:14 pm ET, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will intentionally crash into a small asteroid called Dimorphos in an attempt to change its speed and orbit around its larger neighbor, Didymos. This binary asteroid system located approximately seven million miles from Earth is humanity’s first test for planetary defense.

DART is a technology demonstration designed to test if we could redirect an asteroid if we ever needed to. Following the impact, astronomers here on Earth will monitor the orbit of Dimorphos to determine if DART successfully changed the asteroid’s motion in space. While no known asteroid poses significant risk of impact with Earth in the next 100 years, NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office is in the business of characterizing near-Earth objects and their potential risks to make sure we stay prepared.