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NASA launched a space probe on Tuesday evening to smash an asteroid and test whether it would be possible to throw a furious space rock off course if one were to threaten Earth.

The DART space probe, in short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in a $ 330 million project with echoes of the Bruce Willis film “Armageddon”.

If all goes well, it will hit Dimorphos head-on in September 2022, an asteroid with a diameter of 160 meters and a speed of 24,139 km / h.

“That will not destroy the asteroid. There’ll be just a little nudge, ”said Nancy Chabot, mission officer of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, who is leading the project.

Dimorphos orbits a much larger asteroid called Didymos. The pair pose no threat to Earth, but they do offer scientists a way to measure the effectiveness of the collision.

Dimorphos completes an orbit of Didymos every 11 hours and 55 minutes. The goal of DART is a crash that slows Dimorphos down and causes it to fall closer to the larger asteroid, shortening its orbit by 10 minutes.

The change in orbit time is measured with telescopes on Earth. The minimum change for the mission to be considered successful is 73 seconds.

The DART technique could prove useful in changing the course of an asteroid years or decades before it has the potential for disaster Earth hits.

A small nudge “would add up to a big change in its future position, and then the asteroid and Earth would not be on a collision course,” said Chabot.

Scientists are constantly looking for and planning asteroids their courses to see if they could hit the planet.

“While there is currently no known asteroid on an impact course with Earth, we do know that there is a large population of near-Earth asteroids,” said Lindley Johnson, NASA Planetary Defense Officer. “The key to planetary defense is to find them in good time before they pose a threat of impact.”

It will take DART 10 months to reach the pair of asteroids. The collision will take place about 11 million kilometers from Earth.

Ten days in advance, DART will release a tiny observation probe supplied by the Italian space agency that will follow it.

DART will stream the video until it is destroyed on impact. Three minutes later, the trailing vehicle takes pictures of the impact site and the ejected material.

A rifleman who killed a man in Pasadena in his seventies and tried to escape by assaulting a woman and taking another hostage is with one Police shootout died

Biotechnology entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, a former billionaire accused of committing massive fraud, expressed some remorse on the witness stand on Tuesday but denied hiding the blood testing methods of hers Company not working as promised

A Northern California man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly opening fire at a Halloween party in the Sacramento area, killing two men and injuring five other residents Los Angeles, who are calling 911 for nonviolent homelessness issues, will have their calls blocked by de n Law enforcement agencies redirected to trained, unarmed professionals

The gusty and dry winds in Santa Ana will increase the risk of forest fires and possible public safety shutdowns in Southern California for nearly 141,000 utility customers during the Thanksgiving season

Samsung plans to build a $ 17 billion semiconductor factory in Texas amid a global shortage of chips used in phones, laptops, cars, and other electronic devices

A red fire weather warning is in effect on Thanksgiving Day in the greater San Diego area

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