Protecting Earth from asteroids is complicated and requires global cooperation


PARIS — NASA’s DART spacecraft is closing in on its appointment with Dimorphos, but the energetic encounter is just the very speartip of global efforts to keep life on Earth safe from asteroid impacts.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is set to smash into Dimorphos, a moonlet of the larger asteroid Didymos, on Monday (Sept 26). The mission will measure whether the impact can alter the orbit of Dimorphos around Didymos, testing out the kinetic impact approach to planetary defense of hitting an asteroid that threatens Earth with enough force to nudge its orbit and avert catastrophe. 


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