On September 27, at 4:44 am IST, the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft collided with the space rock Dimorphos (just 160 metres wide). NASA has confirmed that the collision of the auto-rickshaw sized 600 kilogram weighing DART, on the football stadium-sized Dimorphos, about five billion kilogram in mass (orbiting around the 780 metres wide primary asteroid Didymos), has deflected the trajectory of the pair of space rocks. This kinetic impact technique, which appears as the climax of Hollywood sci-fi movies like Deep Impact and Armageddon, is also known as the ‘kick’ method. It could one day save humanity from a potential cataclysmic collision by safely deflecting a killer asteroid on its course towards earth. It could also fuel space mining technologies and unleash the space economy in decades to come. (Read More)
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