NASA Is Going to Knock an Asteroid Out of Orbit in First-Ever Planetary Defence Test
As over-the-top as movies like Armageddon and Deep Impact may be, they do get across a very non-fictional message: you definitely don't want to be around if and when an actual big honkin' asteroid smacks into Earth. Even the tiny interlopers that crash into our planet every now and then can do some crazy and violent damage to entire cities. Fortunately, the folks at NASA are on the case, and they're preparing to launch a mission to test new tech designed to deflect life-threatening asteroids.
In what's being touted as the first-ever test of a true planetary defense system, NASA has teamed up with the European Space Agency (ESA) to try and knock an asteroid off course by slamming into it with a special probe traveling at roughly four miles per second.
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Credit: Joe McGauley, TRILLIST