Hollywood has made many sci-fi movies asteroids crashing Earth and destroying us all. The U.S. space agency NASA may have an answer to this end--the-world possibility. It has tested a spacecraft that could change the direction an asteroid that might hit our planet. The spacecraft is called DART, which means Double Asteroid Redirection Test. The $325m craft set on its journey in November 2021. Its goal was to crash an asteroid called Dimorphos. The mission was a success. DART collided the centre the asteroid at 24,000 kph on Monday. Scientists do not yet know if they have changed the asteroid's direction. They will find from data they will get a few weeks' time.
It is the first time that humans have tried to change the direction a space object. NASA spokesperson Glen Nagle said DART was the first many "planetary protection missions". He compared our chances surviving an asteroid hit to the end the dinosaurs. He said: "We want to have a better chance than the dinosaurs had 65 million years ago." He added that pre-history, all the dinosaurs could do was to "look and say, 'Oh asteroid'". Another spokesperson, Lori Glaze, said DART represented a "new era humankind". She said: "It's an era which we potentially have the capability to protect ourselves something a dangerous, hazardous asteroid impact."