Asteroid Moving Strangely 

How would YOU react if a spacecraft deliberately smashed into you?

Last year, NASA deliberately crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid. It was a good thing.

Nearly a year has passed since NASA deliberately crashed a $300 million spacecraft into an asteroid. In a first-of-its-kind feat, the agency’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) craft slammed into the space rock Dimorphos at 14,000 miles per hour on September 26, 2022. Dimorphos orbits another asteroid called Didymos, and while neither object posed a threat to Earth, the feat showed the world that NASA could nudge an asteroid and alter its trajectory—an action that might come in handy if a planetary defense scenario were to materialize in the future.

The test was a success, and potentially means we won’t need to send Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, or any oil drillers into space to save the planet in the future. However, following last year’s impact, a high school class in California has discovered that the asteroid’s orbit around Didymos has degraded more than initially expected. In short, Dimorphos is acting strangely.

I can relate, Dimorphos. I can relate.