NASA just crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid to see what would happen

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The surface of Dimorphos moments before the DART spacecraft slammed into it. | NASA

A NASA spacecraft slammed into the surface of a distant asteroid at 7:14PM ET on Monday night, the climax of the agency’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).

An hour before impact, the target asteroid, Dimorphos, wasn’t even visible in the images from the spacecraft. In some of the early images sent back to Earth, even Dimorphos’ larger companion Didymos, looked like a single speck against a sea of black. The DART spacecraft was moving at 14,000 miles per hour, and details quickly came into view. Viewers on Earth saw the rough surface of Didymos zip by as the spacecraft cruised autonomously towards Dimorphos. Boulders filled the screen just before it went bright red, indicating a loss of signal — DART had reached its final…

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