NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — “It sounds like science fiction, but it’s going to become fact.”
On Monday night, NASA will slam a spacecraft traveling at 4 miles a second into an asteroid called Dimorphos to see if an asteroid’s orbit can be changed by using kinetic impact.
Although there are currently no asteroids coming toward Earth, the space agency is testing the technology now so we can be prepared for the future. DART, the Double Asteroid Redirection test is all about planetary defense. Planetary defense refers to all the activities that go on to understand the threat that comes to the earth from asteroids and comets.
This will be the world’s first planetary defense test according to NASA. Ahead of the mission, WGNO spoke with Terik Daly, a DART Deputy Instrument Scientist about the test. Watch his full interview in the player above.
According to NASA, DART’s target asteroid is not a threat to earth. The system is meant to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course.
Daly said that the likelihood of an asteroid or comet being a threat is not likely. Although it is not likely, it is not impossible and he said that we don’t know where many of the asteroids and comets are.
“I sleep well at night knowing the risk is small, and I am excited during the day because we are testing technology to do something about them,” said Daly.
Anyone interested in learning more about DART and planetary defense can go online and visit nasa.gov.