NASA has begun the testing of the first ever Double Asteroid Redirection Mission (DART) mission. The DART mission is the first test of a technology developed by NASA that could prevent the hypothetical situation of an asteroid striking the earth. 

A spacecraft, around the size of a school bus, was launched by NASA on November 2021, and it is set to intentionally strike an asteroid on Monday, 26 September. 

Also read: Utah student threatens to set off nuclear reactor, arrested

The scientists at NASA will test if the spacecraft’s kinetic impactor can slightly change the asteroid’s orbit. If it is successful, the earth will have good chances of preventing any future asteroid strikes. 

“We are moving an asteroid. We are changing the motion of a natural celestial body in space. Humanity has never done that before,” Tom Statler, NASA’s in-charge of the mission, told CNN.

The DART spacecraft is targeting a double asteroid system called Didymos and Dimorphos. At the time of the strike, the system is expected to be within 11 million kilometers from the earth. 

The Dimorphos, roughly 160 meters in diameter, is a moon asteroid of the bigger Didymos. The Didymos is roughly 780 meters in diameter, according to reports. 

Also read: Artemis I passes fuelling test despite leaks, next launch date unconfirmed

The asteroid system was discovered on April 11, 1996, and scientists at NASA are observing it since then. The main pictures of the clash will be taken using the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation, or DRACO. 

However, it is being reported that the clash will be visible through the James Webb Space Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope as well. 

The spacecraft will hit the asteroid head-on at a speed of 21,600 kilometers per hour. NASA has confirmed that there is no chance of the asteroid hitting the earth before or after the spacecraft strikes it.