‘This one’s for the dinosaurs’: How the world reacted to NASA’s success in smashing an asteroid | Space

A spaceship crash is, for once, cause for celebration. The Dart (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission Tuesday marked humanity’s first attempt to move an asteroid in space.

scientists in POT and Johns Hopkins University cheered and hugged Tuesday after the vending-machine-sized Dart successfully collided with Dimorphos, a football-field-sized asteroid that posed no risk to Earth.

Online viewers and astrophiles also had a field day. A Twitter user created an account with the username “DART the asteroid slayer”, and tweeted: “I’m about to ruin this asteroid’s entire career.” And then: “THIS IS FOR THE DINOSAURS.”

There were many other jokes about the revenge of the dinosaurs:

we just clapped an asteroid, humans-1 dinosaurs -0

— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) September 26, 2022

Others mocked the spaceship’s self-destruction:

If DART can crash and explode while being useful in the field of astronomy, so can I.

— Chad Popik (@Astro_Chad) September 26, 2022

“No, this is not the plot of a movie,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in Twitter on Monday, acknowledging the mission’s fictional background as a sci-fi movie trope. Instead of blowing up Dimorphos, the agency’s goal was for the collision to deflect it, a technique known as kinetic impact.

The researchers now want to confirm that the impact has altered the asteroid’s orbit. NASA expects Dimorphos’s orbit around a larger asteroid, Didymos, which is 780 meters in diameter, to have shortened by about 1%, or about 10 minutes.

The successful planetary defense demonstration was visible from Earth, including from the South African Astronomical Observatory and ATLAS (the Terrestrial-impact Asteroid Last Warning System) in Hawaii.

Dart launched last November and has spent the last 10 months flying in space.

Peter Kalmusa NASA climate scientist, he pointed “It’s great that NASA is testing the ability to deflect an asteroid or comet if necessary,” but unlike the movie Don’t Look Up, “the real, clear and present danger to humanity is, of course, the decomposition of the Earth by burning fossil fuels”.

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