Last night NASA successfully tested a spacecraft seven million miles from Earth. NASA Engineer Lisa Wu explains why it's being tested to hit an asteroid. ""All we have to do is give the asteroid a little 'bump.' That little 'bump' will knock it off orbit enough to completely miss Earth."
NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test -or DART- culminated in historical success. Wu further explains the mission: "This is to test kinetic impact for planetary defense. The space craft is the kinetic impactor and that is what we're using to hit the asteroid and change its orbit just a little bit. The test is to see if NASA can redirect an asteroid if it's ever necessary - like keeping it from crashing into Earth.
The spacecraft is seven million miles from NASA's mission control that launched it and guided it since November. As you can imagine, there were loud cheers from the DART team the moment that little bump was made. An official statement was made about the importance of science working in the name of planetary defense.
History was made.