As earth continues to hurtle through the cosmos at an exorbitant rate of speed, we are truly a lucky place.
As far as we’ve been able to tell, we’re the only place in the universe with sentient life, which, by its very nature is rather fragile. And so, finding a place that can provide life of any kind, (and do so for the length of time that it has), is a rather miraculous situation.
But there are fears that our planet is overdue for some sort of catastrophe emanating from the far reaches of space, and on Monday, NASA is going to complete the first test of their potentially-planet saving new technology.
An asteroid minding its own business not too far from Earth is about to get knocked about by a visitor from our planet.
On Monday, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft, or DART, is set to collide with Dimorphos, a small asteroid that is the moon of a larger space rock, Didymos. While these two near-Earth objects pose no immediate threat to our world, NASA launched DART last year to test a technique that could one day be used for planetary defense.Trending:
DART is set to crash into Dimorphos at 14,000 mph at 7:14 p.m. Eastern time Monday.
And, thanks to modern technology, we can watch the whole thing from the relative safety of our terrestrial home.
NASA Television will broadcast coverage of the end of this mission beginning at 6 p.m.
If all you want to watch is a stream of photos from the spacecraft as it closes in on the asteroid, NASA’s media channel will begin broadcasting those at 5:30 p.m.
While the feat of tagging an asteroid with a spaceraft is certainly a feat of high technology, the manner in which DART will redirect the asteroid is rather simple:
The craft will simply smash into Dimorphos hard enough to change the space rock’s trajectory, on a sort of cosmic kamikaze mission.