NASA Plans Ahead
Do you ever fear an asteroid colliding with Earth, ending all civilization as we know it? Probably not, but the very slim chance of that happening frightens a lot of planetary scientists and astrophysicists. In reality, as humans evolve, we must stress the immediate importance of upcoming life-threatening issues, such as nuclear war, climate change, or in this case, a severe asteroid collision. Approximately every 500,000 years, an asteroid with a 1-kilometer diameter will collide with Earth, and in the 21st Century, scientists have schemed exactly how we would plan for such an event if we ever lived to encounter it. Well, although no huge space rock is headed our way anytime soon, NASA has made significant progress towards testing a new asteroid prevention defense nicknamed DART.
DART, which stands for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is the first planetary defense test mission of its kind. It is a simple, low-cost aircraft that will collide with an asteroid’s smaller companion within its orbit, hopefully being able to change the larger asteroid’s speed and path. In November of last year, NASA launched DART from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket into space, and on this Monday, September 26th, DART will impact the asteroid in its trajectory. Although this asteroid poses no threat to Earth, the impact will hopefully prove NASA’s projections that they can demonstrate asteroid deflection, having a steady plan if Earth sees this danger in the years to come.
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.