A NASA spacecraft named Dart has rammed into an asteroid in an unprecedented practice run, should such a space rock threaten Earth one day.
It struck a 525-foot asteroid called Dimorphos. The impact occurred 7 million miles away, with the spacecraft plowing ahead at 14,000 mph. Scientists expected the move to create a crater and alter the asteroid’s orbit.
Watch the moment of the impact here:
Telescopes around the world were aimed at the same point in the sky to view the spectacle.
Dart’s radio signal abruptly ceased upon impact. And it will take as long as a couple of months to determine how much the asteroid’s path has been changed.
The $325 million project was the first attempt to shift the position of an asteroid or any other natural object in space.
Dimorphos is a moonlet of Didymos, a fast-spinning asteroid five times larger that flung off the material forming its junior partner. And the pair have been orbiting the sun for eons without threatening Earth.
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