NASA has declared that its DART mission succeeded in deflecting the asteroid Dimorphos on Wednesday, September 27. It is the first time in history that humans have moved a celestial body. NASA tweeted a video from the control room which showed scientists celebrating the successful collision.
You can watch it here.
The DART spacecraft left earth on November 24, 2021, with the intention of colliding head-on with an asteroid system called the Dimorphos and Didymos. The mission was a test to determine if it is possible to redirect asteroids when it comes towards the earth. Its full form is Double Asteroid Redirection Test.
With its success, humans will now be able to avert an asteroid strike along the lines of the 1998 movie Armageddon, starring Bruce Wills and Liv Taylor.
The footage of the DART spacecraft striking the asteroid was recorded using the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation, or DRACO. As the moment of the strike approached, NASA broadcasted the footages live.
The DART mission struck the asteroid at a distance of 11 million kilometers from the earth. NASA shared high-resolution images of the moments before and after the impact.
Most Twitteratis are amazed that it is now possible to take such high-resolution images of a spacecraft-asteroid collision so far away from earth.
Also read: NASA DART mission: All you need to know
Announcing the strike, NASA had said that the DART spacecraft will hit the asteroid at a speed of 21,600 kilometers per hour. To abate any fear among people, it also clarified there was no asteroid coming towards earth and the mission was only a test.
There is also no chance of the asteroid striking the earth after it collided with the DART spacecraft, NASA had said.