The test of humanity's ability to stop an incoming object from devastating life on Earth was celebrated by NASA on Tuesday.

Bill Nelson, NASA's chief, announced that the Double Asteroid Redirection Test smashed into the moonlet asteroid Dimorphos on September 26 and pushed it into a smaller, faster path around Didymos.

The period was changed by four minutes, from 11 hours 55 minutes to 11 hours 23 minutes.

Nelson said that at some point in the future, if we find an asteroid that is threatening to hit Earth, and would be large enough to do some damage, thank goodness that we will have had this successful test.

There is no threat to our planet from the asteroid pair.

They are perfect for studying planetary defense.

DART's success as a proof-of-concept has paved the way for films such as Armageddon, Deep Impact, and Don't Look Up.

Around an hour before impact, Dimorphos, which is roughly the size of a big Egyptian pyramid, appeared as a speck of light.

Its craggy, boulder-dotted surface came into view in the last few moments as DART raced towards it.


The images of matter spread out thousands of miles were collected by Earth and space telescopes, as well as a companion satellite that traveled to the zone with DART.

Dimorphos has become a comet thanks to its new tail.

It took a few weeks for the analysis of light patterns from ground telescopes to be seen.

Only a single dot from the ground is what you can see of the asteroid system.

Dimorphos passes in front of Didymos, which is half a mile wide.

The orbital period was measured by four optical telescopes and two US-based radar telescopes.

The test shows that the asteroid is more like a pile of boulders than a solid rock.

The strength of an asteroid will affect the strength of a spaceship. There will be an additional boost if mass is pushed in the opposite direction to hit.

NASA scientist Tom Statler said that the recoil from the blast off the surface was a significant contributor to the push given to the asteroid.

He said that the test would serve as an "anchor point" for simulations and calculations.

Mass extinction

NASA says there is no chance of an asteroid larger than 140 meters in size hitting Earth in the next 100 years.

Wait a long time and it will happen.

The mass extinction of the dinosaurs along with 75 percent of all species was caused by a six mile wide asteroid hitting Earth 66 million years ago.

The Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor is a telescope that will be launched in 2026 to better understand asteroids and comets.

Less than half of the 25,000 NEOs have been found.

One of the only ways to defend the planet is with a spaceship.

If an object is detected early, a spaceship could be sent to fly alongside it for a long time to divert its path.

Nuclear explosives could be used to destroy or divert an asteroid.

To impart force without blowing the asteroid to smithereens is what NASA believes is the best way to use such weapons.

Agence France- Presse.