A NASA spacecraft deliberately collided with an asteroid in an attempt to divert its course, in an unprecedented test aimed at teaching humanity how to prevent cosmic bodies from destroying life on Earth.
The spacecraft, slightly smaller than the size of a car, collided, as expected, with the asteroid at a speed of over 20,000 km / h.
And the US space agency broadcast the facts of this collision directly on the air. As soon as the spacecraft hit the asteroid, NASA crew members who gathered at the mission oversight center in Maryland, USA, exploded with joy.
Minutes before the spacecraft collided with the asteroid Demorphos, which is 11 million km from Earth, the object’s image began to get bigger and bigger, as the spacecraft got closer and closer. more.
In a live broadcast, the spacecraft’s cameras broadcast jaw-dropping images of the astronomical body that showed every detail of Demorphos, including its gray surface and the small pebbles that cover it. The moment the vehicle hit the asteroid and crashed into it, the transmission of the images was interrupted.
Demorphos, which is about 160 meters in diameter, poses no threat to Earth.
In fact, this small asteroid is a moon orbiting another larger asteroid called Didymos.
In Demorphos it takes 11 hours and 55 minutes to make a complete loop around Didymus. But NASA tries, through the mission it carried out on Monday, to reduce this time by 10 minutes by reducing the orbit of Demorphos closer to Didymus.
It will take a few days to a few weeks to see if the small asteroid’s trajectory has really been changed by the impact.
And this task will be carried out by scientists on Earth thanks to their telescopes.