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Watch as soon as NASAs DART spacecraft crashed into an asteroid

NASA is celebrating the success of humanitys first test of a planetary immune system: crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid to be able to change its orbit. NASAs Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft, or DART, was intentionally smashed in to the asteroid Dimorphos at 7: 14 p.m. US Eastern time yesterday evening, spelling the finish to an effective 10-month mission.

A little camera installed on DART livestreamed the spacecrafts steady progress toward the 160-meter-wide asteroid, located about 6.8 million miles from Earth, back again to controllers based at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. The team cheered as Dimorphos grew closer and closer, prior to the livestream cut right out on impact with the asteroid.

The strike was basically a bulls-eye, mission systems engineer Elena Adams said. It is possible to watch the livestream on your own to start to see the exact moment DART struck Dimorphos. And for a feeling of scale, this past year the collision was described by Tom Statler, DARTs program scientist, as a golf cart traveling at 15,000 miles one hour smashing in to the side of a football stadium.

The mission, that was launched in November this past year, demonstrates a means for humanity to safeguard itself from asteroids. While Dimorphos itself was not on course to crash into Earth, the project demonstrates NASAs capability to deflect similar asteroids later on.

Researchers believe the crash may have shortened Dimorphoss orbit by around 10 minutes, that is enough to create a factor to the road an asteroid travels. NASA administrator Bill Nelson called the mission an unprecedented success for planetary defense.

The next thing is to review the asteroid using telescopes on the planet to verify that DARTs impact altered the its orbit around a more substantial asteroid called Didymos.

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