NASA wants to smash a spacecraft into an asteroid, but don’t worry. Earth isn’t at risk.

Later this month, NASA will launch a mission to smack an asteroid into a new orbit to prepare for the possibility that an asteroid in the future might threaten Earth. But don’t worry, experts agree that there is no possibility that (even if it goes awry) this asteroid-smashing could threaten Earth.

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission, or DART, will essentially practice what the agency might do if a relatively large asteroid were on a trajectory to collide with Earth. The mission will attempt to hit a space rock nearly head-on, smashing into it and tweaking its orbit. DART will launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Nov. 23 at 10:20 local time (Nov. 24 at 1:20 a.m. EST, 0620 GMT). If all goes well, it will crash into its asteroid target in late 2022.



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