Nasa Tests New Spacecraft  Asteroid Strikes

To Guard Earth Against

Asteroid Collisions Are A Favourite

Theme of Hollywood disaster movies — hitting the Earth with a cataclysmic impact or deflected at the last moment by heroic human intervention.

Now, New Technology

Aimed at averting any future threat to the planet is being put to the test by Nasa scientists

Who Are Preparing

To smash a spacecraft into a faraway asteroid at 23,000kph in order to divert its path.

The $300mn Dart Mission

Which is short for double asteroid redirection test, involves ramming the half-tonne craft into an asteroid called Dimorphos and monitoring the shift in its path through space

Dimorphos Is Unusual

Because while most asteroids orbit the sun, it moves around a larger asteroid called Didymos.

The Target Asteroid Was Chosen

Because it will be easier to assess changes to its local orbit than it would be to measure a deflection around the sun.

SpaceX Successfully Returns  Space Station

NASA, ESA Astronauts From