In a first of it’s kind experiment, NASA has intentionally crashed a spaceship into an asteroid almost seven million miles away.
Besser Museum Planetarium Coordinator Johnathan Winckowski believes this is one of the most important missions NASA has ever undertaken. “If we weren’t going to do any space missions except one, this would probably be the one for us to focus on,” he said.
The asteroid Dimorphos, seven million miles away from our planet isn’t a threat. Instead, it’s giving NASA an idea of how we can prevent another asteroid from causing a catastrophic event on earth. “While this is not a threat right now, it is pretty much guaranteed that we’re going to have to contend with an asteroid that could be heading towards earth,” Winckoski said. “So, the ultimate goal is be ready for that future situation.”
The spacecraft launched by NASA 10 months ago crashed into Dimorphos at about 15,000 miles per hour. NASA hopes the impact will change the course of the asteroid. “Whether it’s a millimeter, a centimeter, any little bit helps in the long run because these asteroids are going to be moving a great distance,” said Winckowski.
Nasa’s spacecraft made contact with the Dimorphos just after 7 p.m. on Monday.