SCIENCE NASA crashed a high-speed spacecraft into an asteroid and changed it forever


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NASA successfully altered the trajectory of an asteroid by crashing a spacecraft into it on September 26, 2023. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission proved NASA's ability to redirect potentially hazardous asteroids. The impact, which targeted the moonlet Dimorphos orbiting the larger asteroid Didymos, reduced Dimorphos' orbit time by 33 minutes. This success showcased Earth's capability for planetary defense against asteroid threats. Following the collision, researchers led by Sabina Raducan found that DART's impact caused permanent changes to Dimorphos, turning it into a loose, rubble-pile asteroid with global deformation. Approximately 0.5% to 1% of Dimorphos' mass was ejected, and 8% was redistributed within the asteroid.
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