DEEP BENCH: NASA to crash rocket into asteroid changing trajectory

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 5:08 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Unlike Hollywood sci-fi movies, we’ve rarely had to deal with incoming asteroids on earth. But NASA is taking no chances!

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, approximately 12:21 a.m., NASA will launch the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART.

The first of its kind, DART will test the idea of deflecting an asteroid by colliding with the small moonlet in a double asteroid system.

Eric Ianson, NASA’s Deputy Director Planetary Science Division joined the Deep Bench on NewsChannel 7 at 4 to tell us more.

“The asteroid we’re going after this time is not a hazard to earth,” said Ianson. “It’s a small moonlet of another asteroid.”

This asteroid is 530 feet in diameter, about the height of the Washington Monument. Asteroids of that size do present hazards, but this one is not.

They’re hoping this mission will show then how they can slightly change the orbit. “It’s currently not a hazard and we’re not making one by making this impact.”

If you’re interested in watching NASA’s launch you can use #DARTMission to find it on social media, click here, or watch live in NASA TV.

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