NASA Prepares to Try Deflecting an Asteroid

NASA Prepares to Try Deflecting an Asteroid

Shooting at a huge asteroid with nukes might not do the trick. As it was said in the 1998 “Armageddon” movie, it will smile and keep on coming. Sure, that was only a sci-fi production, and it has pretty much nothing to do with how the real world would deal with a devastating space rock that approaches the Earth.

Deflecting an asteroid seems like a better idea. It surely would be less expensive than just to blow up our “uninvited guest”. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why NASA prepares for the scenario. According to a recent simulation of the space agency, the world wasn’t prepared at that time for an encounter with a devastating asteroid. But technology always evolves, and scientists never stop coming up with new ideas to solve things.

Deflection could be a solution, although there’s no assurance

NASA works hard to find out if it can deflect a dangerous asteroid that approaches the Earth, according to There’s no assurance that the plan will work, either.

Credit:, Thomas Breher
Credit:, Thomas Breher

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is NASA’s fancy “toy” for the matter. The space agency will put it to the test against the Didymos binary asteroid. After colliding with the space rock, DART will hopefully change its course. The same technique could be applied for asteroids that are in a collision course with our planet.

DART has recently been updated with the Roll-Out Solar Arrays (aka ROSA) and the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical (DRACO) camera that will capture the moments before the collision.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry DART into space after launching from Vandenberg Space Force Base in November. The space journey will last for ten months, and the impact will occur in the fall of 2022.
NASA revealed more exciting details about DART on its official website.

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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