NASA has a plan to save the world. Well, they have a plan to maybe save the world if a Hollywood-esque fate is set to meet it head on.
The association is in the preliminary design phase for DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), a “mission to demonstrate an asteroid deflection technique for planetary defense.”
The plan? NASA will fling a refrigerator-sized satellite at Didymos B, the second of a pair of asteroids that will safely pass by Earth in October 2022 and again in 2024. The satellite will use its on-board targeting system to hit Didymos B at 3.7 miles per second, or roughly nine times faster than a bullet.
NASA will then measure any disruption the collision has with Didymos B. The hope is that NASA will be able to demonstrate that hurling Earthly objects at extraterrestrial threats could save us all, in layman’s terms.
We wish them luck.