NASA is preparing to ram a spacecraft into an asteroid

NASA announced it has entered the design phase of its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).

The test will consist of crashing a spacecraft into a non-threatening asteroid to determine the efficiency of the kinetic impact redirection technique.

The target asteroid is called Didymos B and is about 160 metres wide. Didymos B orbits a larger asteroid called Didymos A, which is around 780 metres wide.

The nature of the binary system will allow Earth-based observatories to measure the effect of the impact by measuring differences in the orbit of Didymos B.

The target asteroid will have a distant approach to Earth in 2022 and 2024.

Now read: Re-used SpaceX Dragon capsule completes second flight

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NASA is preparing to ram a spacecraft into an asteroid