You might remember how NASA’s spacecraft “DART” systematically collided with the doomsday asteroid named “Dimorphos” last month in order to change its path in the orbit which would otherwise hit the Earth, causing large-scale destruction. Recently, the U.S space agency revealed the good news on Tuesday that NASA has finally succeeded in altering the trajectory of this doomsday asteroid through an immense kinetic force. It has further been noted through the results of the astronomical measurements that the asteroid is now closer to its parent asteroid and its orbiting period has also been reduced by 32 minutes.
Coupled with this, you would be amazed to know that scientists have been working on this mega-project for a period of seven years, and the project cost a whopping $330 million. Finally, the breakthrough has been achieved, and this should be considered one of the biggest and most significant achievements by NASA as it has saved our planet Earth from an unforeseen yet destructive situation, and has also saved humanity in one way or the other.
It should be noted that when the DART spacecraft collided with the asteroid last month, the impact of the collision was recorded by the mission operations center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, and it was found to be located about 6.8 million miles (10.9 million km) from Earth. According to NASA chief Bill Nelson, “This is a watershed moment for planetary defense and a watershed moment for humanity. It felt like a movie plot, but this was not Hollywood. “
Coupled with this, DART collided with Dimorphos at a speed of about 14,000 miles per hour (22,531 kph). It should be noted that Dimorphous orbits around its parent asteroid named “Didymos,” which is approximately five times bigger than Dimorphous. In addition to this, Tom Statler, who is a DART program scientist for NASA, said that this collision affected the asteroid in such a way that it made it “wobble a bit”, as per the initial findings revealed. On the other hand, Lori Glaze, who is the director of NASA’s planetary science division, stated, “The outcome demonstrated we are capable of deflecting a potentially hazardous asteroid of this size. The key is early detection. “
To that end, NASA believes that the early detection of such life-threatening asteroids is very crucial for the stability of astronomical research because there are a number of other asteroids in space that have not yet been detected. Hence, this achievement unlocked a lot more doors for NASA as it is certainly a long shot.