With DART asteroid mission, NASA makes its 1st foray into planetary protection


The first operation to ever collide a spacecraft with an asteroid is about to launch Wednesday (Nov. 24) and can see whether or not people can deflect a doubtlessly disastrous cosmic impression.

For such an bold objective, the NASA undertaking — referred to as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) — had quite humble origins. “I conceived the idea for the mission that became DART on a winter morning in early 2011, while I was doing stretching exercises in my basement,” Andrew Cheng, a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland and a lead investigator for DART, advised Space.com.

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