. NASA Launching Test Mission of Asteroid-Deflecting Spacecraft « JO LEE MAGAZINE

A SpaceX rocket was set to blast off from California late Tuesday as NASA seeks to demonstrate a first-of-its-kind planetary defence system, designed to deflect an asteroid from a potential doomsday collision with Earth.The DART mission will test NASA’s ability to alter an asteroid’s trajectory with kinetic force — crashing a robot spacecraft into it at high speed and nudging the space boulder just enough to keep our planet out of harm’s way. DART’s target is a tiny fraction of the size of the cataclysmic Chicxulub asteroid that slammed into Earth about 66 million years ago, killing most of the planet’s animal species. It is not on a path that will cause it to hit Earth in the foreseeable future.

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