NASA’s asteroid deflection mission a resounding success, shortening space rock’s orbit by 32 minutes

A spacecraft that slammed into a small asteroid two weeks ago redirected the space rock’s orbit around its larger partner in 32 minutes – even better than NASA engineers predicted. The results are great news for humanity’s first test of its planetary defense system.

On September 26, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft disintegrated and created a huge plume of dust when it collided with the asteroid Dimorphos, which is 7 million miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth. DART slammed into Dimorphos at around 14,540 mph (23,400 km/h). The probe’s original goal was to change Dimorphos’ orbit around its largest partner – the 1,280-foot-wide (390-meter) asteroid Didymos – by at least 73 seconds, but the spacecraft has in changed the orbit of Dimorphos by 32 minutes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *