NASA completes ‘planetary defense’ test

NASA has completed its first-ever “planetary defense” test, crashing a spacecraft into an oncoming asteroid in effort to knock it off course

NASA completes ‘planetary defense’ test
27 Sep, 2022 02:44 HomeWorld News

NASA completes ‘planetary defense’ test

America’s space agency is now waiting to see whether it was able to knock an incoming asteroid off course

NASA has completed its first-ever “planetary defense” test, deliberately crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid floating millions of miles away from Earth in an effort to change its path. The agency said it made a direct hit, but is still awaiting data from the experiment. 

“It’s been a successful completion of the first part of the world’s first planetary defense test. There were years of hard work, there was a lot of innovation and creativity that went into this mission,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said, adding “I believe it’s going to teach us how, one day, to protect our own planet from an incoming asteroid.”

While the space agency was able to confirm the impact, it could take up to “a couple of months” before the full effects of the experiment are known, NASA mission systems engineer Elena Adams told reporters, though noted that some of the data will be available in a matter of days. 

does not believe any asteroids of that size are slated to hit Earth anytime in the next century, but researchers regularly discover new objects flying through space. In May, scientists at a California-based firm identified more than 100 previously unknown asteroids, leaving it unknown how many undetected rocks may pose a threat to Earth.