NASA to pay SpaceX: To crash a rocket into an asteroid
NASA awarded $69 million to SpaceX to redirect an asteroid. The mission is called DART ”Double Asteroid Redirection Test. It works on Kinetic Impactor technique. The technique is sending a high speed spacecraft to the path of an astronomical object approaching the earth.
The asteroid is called Didymos and is to hit the earth by 2022. The aim is to reduce the reaction time of the catastrophic rock hitting a major city. It would take one or 2 years to deflect the asteroid. As the size of the asteroid is comparatively smaller, the warning time is 2 years said the National Academy of Science. However, if the asteroid is larger, then it might even take 20 years of warning time.
There are no reliable data to prevent such asteroids hitting on earth. The bumper rocket technology that is to be used is also new and has not been tested before. By June 2021, the asteroid would have reached little closer which would help to explore further.