NASA testing new program that deflects potentially-threatening asteroids

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – SpaceX launched another rocket into space early Wednesday morning with an interesting payload.

These missions seem more like Hollywood than real life.

The $300 million mission is called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART for short.

NASA will send a probe that will crash head-on, into a small asteroid to test the likelihood of nudging a threatening asteroid off course just enough to prevent a catastrophic impact on earth.

Unlike Hollywood thrillers like Armageddon and Deep Impact, which imagined piloted flights carrying nuclear bombs to deflect or destroy their targets, DART’s goal is much simpler and much less destructive.

β€œWe decided that one of the easiest ways to protect ourselves from some of those, if there are any on a collision course with us, would be to gently nudge them out of the way,” explains Mitch Schulte, a NASA program specialist. β€œYou do see all the movies of them trying to blow them up but that the more pieces that you make the more dangerous they could potentially become.”

The DART probe will rendezvous with its target asteroid, Dimorphos, in September 2022.

The asteroid is a about the size of the Washington Monument.

For more on NASA’s DART program, click <a href=”” target=”_blank”>here</a>.