We are better than the dinosaurs.
One day, NASA hopes to save Earth from hazardous space rocks by slamming a spaceship into an asteroid.
A harmless asteroid called Dimorphos was the target of Monday's Double Asteroid Redirection Test.
The mission will only be considered a success if it succeeds in altering the asteroid's path around Didymos.
If it's true, it means we have the technology to change the path of an incoming asteroid so that it doesn't end up in the same place as the dinosaurs.
We don't know if the DART mission has been a success.
Data from ground-based observatories that are tasked with tracking Dimorphos' path will need to be examined by DART.
We will have to wait about two months for the full quantitative answer according to representatives from APL and JPL. Some pieces of the answer are expected to trickle out this week.
JPL says on its website that the majority of near- Earth objects have no risk of impact, but a small fraction of them need more attention. These objects are defined as asteroids that are more than 140 meters in diameter and have an average distance between them of more than 4.5 million miles.
All known near- Earth objects are monitored by the Center for Near Earth Object Studies. We now have the ability to send a hazardous asteroid packing if DART has succeeded.
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