An illustration of DART headed towards Dimorphos | NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben
When NASA smashes a spacecraft into an asteroid on Monday, people on Earth will get an extremely close look at the action.
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) is headed for its final destination, the surface of an asteroid called Dimorphos, which it will crash into at speeds of over 14,000 miles per hour. Researchers are hoping that the collision will change the asteroid’s orbit, speeding it up just a tiny bit.
Neither Dimorphos, nor its larger companion, Didymos, pose any danger to Earth, but the experiment is designed to test whether or not a similar impact could make a difference if scientists ever discovered an asteroid that posed an imminent threat to life on Earth.
DART will be on its own during its final approach. The…