There are many Hollywood movies about asteroids crashing into Earth and destroying us. The space agency NASA may have an answer to stop this happening. It tested a spacecraft that could change the direction of an asteroid so it doesn't hit our planet. The $325 million spacecraft is called DART. It set off on its journey in November 2021. Its goal was to crash into an asteroid called Dimorphos. DART hit the centre of the asteroid at 24,000 kph on Monday. Scientists do not know if they have changed the asteroid's direction. They will find out in a few weeks when they get data.
It is the first time for humans to change the direction of an asteroid. A NASA spokesperson said DART was the first of many "planetary protection missions". He talked about the end of the dinosaurs. He said: "We want to have a better chance than the dinosaurs had 65 million years ago." He 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: "It's an era in which we potentially have the capability to protect ourselves from something like a dangerous, hazardous asteroid impact."