Highlights

  • Earth destroying asteroids feel like the work of sci-fi but scientists assure they are real
  • NASA introduced DART, a mission to destroy humanity affecting asteroids 
  • NASA says no major asteroids detected for a century

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NASA is set to launch what's billed as humanity's first asteroid deflection test mission. It's hoped the test might one day save Earth from an incoming rock from space.

To avoid going the way of the dinosaurs, humans have been hard at work to look into deflecting asteroids from hitting the Earth.

And NASA has finally launched DART or Double Asteroid Redirection Test, a mission billed as humanity's first asteroid deflection test on the 24th of November.

Scientists selected double asteroid Didymos as the target. Its moonlet named "Dimorphos" measures about 160 meters in size. By comparison, the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs measured roughly 10 kilometers.

Also Watch: NASA plans nuclear powered missions on the Moon by decade end

NASA shared some cosmic good news earlier this year when it gave Earth the all-clear from menacing asteroids for the next century, but they also warn only a third such threats have so far been observed.

It's hoped the test could one day save Earth from an incoming rock. If all goes well, the high-speed smashup will occur 11 million kilometers away, within full view of Earth's ground telescopes.

The European Space Agency is also planning to send another spacecraft to Didymos to undertake a close-up survey. It's expected to launch in 2024.

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