NASA successfully plunged the DART probe into the Dimorphos asteroid Monday, completely obliterating the technology.
Thankfully, the entire point of the DART probe was to utterly destroy itself by smashing into the small Dimorphos asteroid. The purpose of the program was to see whether us mere Earthlings could divert the course of an asteroid so that we can potentially avoid a catastrophic collision in the future.
The DART probe launched in November 2021 made impact with the Dimorphos asteroid early Tuesday evening, according to the BBC. The camera attached to the probe sent back an image every second until the probe crashed into the asteroid’s surface, the outlet continued.
NASA’s DART spacecraft launches through the Vandenberg fog in November, 2021.
Today it successfully hit an asteroid! pic.twitter.com/75VDERy4vS
— Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) September 26, 2022
The exact area of impact was only 17m off the asteroid‘s center , leading the control room at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to launch into cheers, the BBC noted.
The next stage of the research is to ensure the experiment truly worked — whether the DART probe was successful in nudging the trajectory of Dimorphos, the BBC continued. Despite the success of impact, the mission has not yet achieved its purpose. (RELATED: Scientists Stunned By What They’re Seeing In New Images Of Deep Space)
“We’re embarking on a new era of humankind, an era in which we potentially have the capability to protect ourselves from something like a dangerous hazardous asteroid impact. What an amazing thing; we’ve never had that capability before,” NASA director of planetary science Dr. Lori Glaze told reporters, the BBC noted.