NASA's DART Spacecraft Will Test , a Planetary Defense System.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission involves an untested technique of nudging an asteroid off of its course.
The test asteroid is six million miles from earth and poses no threat.
A lot of times when I tell people that NASA is actually doing this mission, they kind of don't believe it at first, maybe because it has been the thing of movies, Nancy Chabot, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, via NPR News.
If successful, DART missions could be used to encounter asteroids too small to track, .
But large enough to cause significant damage to densely populated areas.
The right time to deflect an asteroid is as far away from the Earth as we can, Lindley Johnson, NASA's Planetary Defense Officer, via NPR News.
The strategy is to find these objects not only years but decades before they are any kind of an impact hazard to the Earth, Lindley Johnson, NASA's Planetary Defense Officer, via NPR News.
Asteroids that are large enough to wipe out the entire planet are tracked around the clock by NASA.
While Hollywood disaster films usually emphasize asteroid destruction, scientists say the DART mission is different.
DART is demonstrating asteroid deflection.
It is absolutely not asteroid disruption, which is how it goes a lot of times in the movies, Nancy Chabot, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, via NPR News.
In cooperation with other global space agencies, NASA officials are hopeful DART missions could be useful if a threat arises.
We think that this technique ... would be a part of the toolbox that we are starting to build of capabilities to deflect an asteroid, Lindley Johnson, NASA's Planetary Defense Officer, via NPR News.
While there is no eminent threat to Earth, the DART test is not arbitrary.
We do know that there is a large population of near-Earth asteroids out there, Lindley Johnson, NASA's Planetary Defense Officer, via NPR News