Armageddon Now: NASA And Space X Launch The Rocket DART To Knock An Asteroid Off Its Trajectory

If you’re a fan of Bruce Willis, then you would’ve heard of the 1998 action/sci-fi film Armageddon. Starring other A-list actors like Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler, the latest news about Elon Musk’s first Space X Kamikaze Mission is truly something out of a science fiction movie. But this is no movie set or blockbuster film. On Tuesday, November 23, Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket company, commissioned by NASA, launched a Falcon 9 rocket dubbed DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), which is intended to spend close to a year in orbit and eventually crash into a faraway asteroid. But NASA assures, there is no worry. The asteroid poses no threat to earth and is not in line with our planet.

A post shared by SpaceX (@spacex)

According to TMZ, the DART spacecraft lifted off from the Vanderberg Space Force Base, a project that costs a healthy $330 million, which is fairly decent considering the billions of lives that will be at stake if this monster asteroid stays the course. The target of discussion is the asteroid Dimorphos, which NASA has found to be orbiting a much larger asteroid called Didymos.

The asteroid has an estimated measurement of 525 feet across while moving at a speed of 15,000 MPH, making it what scientists like to call a ‘City-killer’. The 1,200-pound SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will be slamming head-first into Dimorphos around September 2022. The only difference this NASA test has compared to Armageddon in the movie is that there aren’t any nuclear weapons attached to the spacecraft.

A post shared by SpaceX (@spacex)

RELATED: $20 Billion in Two Weeks: Elon Musk’s Net Worth Rockets To $222 Billion, Thanks To Space X

Experts at NASA and SpaceX want to reiterate that DART’s mission is not to shatter the asteroid into a million pieces — the spacecraft isn’t big enough for that. Their goal is to slow down the smaller asteroid (Dimorphos) by crashing into it and changing its orbit around the larger asteroid (Didymos) by 73 seconds. The managing official for the project, Nancy Chabot of the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, emphasized that a slight nudge “would add up to a big change in its future position, and then the asteroid and earth won’t be on a collision course.” Despite their reassurance that the asteroid is not a threat to earth, one can’t help but wonder why they would take such a drastic measure to “nudge” the asteroid off course if its trajectory wasn’t in some way in line with the planet.

A post shared by SpaceX (@spacex)

The news of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket being used for NASA’s kamikaze mission came around the same time that Elon Musk warned that his space company could be encountering a risk of bankruptcy. However, we can all agree that an extinction-level event is way more important!

READ NEXT: Nearing Bankruptcy: Elon Musk Says SpaceX Might Be Facing Genuine Risk Of Bankruptcy

Sources: TIME, TMZ

Source: Read Full Article