NASA probe attempts to avoid an Armageddon scenario

Scientists aren't sure yet if they actually knocked the asteroid off its course.
06 October 2022
Image by A Owen from Pixabay

New photos show the epic scale of the impact when a NASA probe smashed into an asteroid at approximately 14,000 miles per hour.

Although the Dimorphos asteroid didn't pose a threat to Earth, the collision was part of the space agency's Double Asteroid Reduction Test, or DART,  a trial of tech that could potentially push a killer asteroid off course long before it endangers Earth.

The Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging of Asteroids, or LICIACube, have released a set of photos on Twitter showimg  Dimorphos erupting in what appears to be a vast cloud of debris as it's pummeled by the fast-moving probe.

While the collision was successful, scientists aren't sure yet if they actually knocked the asteroid off its course.

If the data shows that the impact was successful, the trial could provide an invaluable technique should Earth ever need to defend itself against an incoming asteroid.

However, it could be a while before scientists are able to definitively measure Dimorphos' new orbit, so we don't know yet whether the spacecraft that hit it did enough damage to alter its trajectory.

NASA could really use a win right about now given everything that's gone wrong with its Artemis I mission to the Moon. And humanity could also use some good news.

- CyberBeat

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