NASA's DART spacecraft successfully slams into asteroid.

A NASA spacecraft intentionally slammed into an asteroid Monday (26) in a historic test of humanity's ability to protect Earth from a potentially catastrophic collision with a space rock.

The agency's DART probe, short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, carried out the first-of-its-kind maneuver on a small and harmless space rock known as Dimorphos, which is about 6.8 million miles from Earth.

The $325 million mission was designed to see whether "nudging" an asteroid can alter its trajectory, providing scientists with a valuable real-world test of planetary defense technologies.

The DART spacecraft, which is about the size of a vending machine, crashed into Dimorphos at 7:14 p.m. ET, flying head-on into the space rock at 14,000 mph.

A camera aboard DART captured live views of Dimorphos’ getting bigger as the probe neared the asteroid. In the minutes before impact, the probe beamed back jaw-dropping details of the space rock's craggy, uneven surface.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson congratulated the DART team, saying efforts by the international group of scientists will help humanity protect Earth from incoming asteroids.

Source: www.nbcnews.com


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