How NASA’s DART spacecraft will divert asteroids

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft will smash into an asteroid in the first ever real-world planetary defence mission.

The 500-kilogram DART craft launched last year on 24 November and is due to reach its destination, the 780-metre-wide asteroid Didymos, on 26 September. Once it arrives, it will purposefully crash into Didymos’s moon, the 160-metre-wide asteroid Dimorphos, in an attempt to divert the smaller rock’s orbit around its parent asteroid.

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