NASA crashes DART spacecraft into asteroid in world’s 1st planetary defense test

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LAUREL, Md. — For the first time in history, a spacecraft from Earth has crashed into an asteroid to test a way to save our planet from extinction. 

The spacecraft, NASA’s Double Asteroid Rendezvous Test (DART) probe, slammed into a small asteroid 7 million miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth tonight (Sept. 26) in what the U.S. space agency has billed as the world’s first planetary defense test. The goal: to change the orbit of the space rock — called Dimorphos — around its larger asteroid parent Didymos enough to prove humanity could deflect a dangerous asteroid if one was headed for Earth.

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