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How Will We Know if NASA’s DART Mission Successfully Changed an Asteroid’s Orbit?

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, also known as DART, is humanity’s first attempt to change the motion of a non-hazardous asteroid in space by intentionally crashing a spacecraft into it. After impact, ground-based observatories across the globe will turn their eyes to the skies to determine if this planetary defense test was successful. In this vode, NASA visits Lowell Observatory to learn more about how astronomers have been tracking this double asteroid over the course of many years, and how they will document the orbital change post-impact.

DART is a spacecraft designed to impact an asteroid as a test of technology. DART’s target asteroid is NOT a threat to Earth. This asteroid system is a perfect testing ground to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should a hazardous asteroid be discovered in the future.

For more on DART, visit https://nasa.gov/dart.