Nasa to test whether they can divert the course of an asteroid |

Nasa to test whether they can divert the course of an asteroid

NASA launches spacecraft to test technology that could tip a dangerous asteroid off course.



Nasa's Dart mission wants to test how difficult it would be to stop a huge space rock from hitting Earth.
NASA’s spacecraft will crash into the moon of a specific asteroid to see how its speed and path can be altered. 
A chunk of cosmic debris could unleash unspeakable devastation if it were to collide with Earth, even if the circumference of said debris were a few hundred meters. 
NASA’s satellite is called ‘Dart’, and it will take a year to actually smash into its target at a speed of 15,000 miles per hour in order to change the speed of the target by a fraction of a millimetre per second – which is enough to knock an object off a collision course with Earth.
First Dart must escape Earth’s gravity, then it will follow its own orbit around the Sun, and finally it will collide with the target.
Asteroids are the left-over building blocks of our Solar System. It would be an extremely rare event for an asteroid’s orbit around the sun to clash with Earth’s orbit around the sun.
"There are a lot more small asteroids than there are large ones and so the most likely asteroid threat we ever have to face - if we ever have to face one - is probably going to be from an asteroid around this size," said Tom Statler, the mission's program scientist at Nasa.

TAGS: NASA, asteroid, spacecraft