Can You Change The Course Of An Asteroid? Yes, We Can, Says Nasa

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Have you watched the great disaster movies such as Armageddon and Deep Impact? Both movies depict the almost destruction of earth upon collision with an asteroid. However, both the times, scientists and some other heroes from USA managed to save the earth from its doomed fate using some nuclear warheads. I am sure whenever you happen to see or heard about earth’s possible collision with an asteroid, first thing rings the bell in your mind is diverting or blasting the incoming thing with nuclear bombs, right?

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, spacecraft onboard, is seen during sunrise, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at Space Launch Complex 4E, Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. NASA photo by Bill Ingalls.

However, the reality is far from the strategies they used in those Hollywood movies. In fact, NASA is trying to veer the course of an asteroid by simply colliding it with a small spacecraft. Now don’t think it is a naïve idea for an organization like NASA to even think of. Beside the speculations, it is happening, and NASA launched a rocket in November, last year to execute this mission.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

The spacecraft which is moving towards the asteroid at a speed of 4 miles per second will crash with it on Monday 26th 7.14 pm ET. This is the first ever attempt by humankind to intercept an asteroid and alter its course. Let us hope the mission would be a successful one so that we can at least get rid of thinking about using nuclear warheads to defend ourselves from incoming asteroids.   

Infographic showing the effect of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test craft’s impact on the orbit of Dimorphos by NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

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