5-speed listening (Asteroids - Level 1)

NASA spacecraft hits asteroid in Earth-protection test






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Hollywood makes many movies about asteroids hitting and destroying Earth. NASA may soon be able to stop asteroids. It tested a spacecraft that could change the direction of an asteroid so it doesn't hit Earth. It is called DART. It set off in November 2021 to crash into an asteroid. DART hit the centre of the asteroid at 24,000 kph. Scientists do not know if they have changed the asteroid's direction. They will find out in a few weeks when they get data.

NASA said DART was the first of many "planetary protection missions". It joked about the death of the dinosaurs. It said: "We want to have a better chance than the dinosaurs had 65 million years ago." It added that all the dinosaurs could do was to "look up and say, 'Oh asteroid'". NASA also said DART was a "new era for humankind". It said we could "protect ourselves from something like a dangerous, hazardous asteroid impact".

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