Why NASA diverted an asteroid


(NewsNation) — While the $330 million launch of NASA‘s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) aircraft into an asteroid Monday was an expensive experiment, Alexandra Doten, a space communications expert, joined NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” Monday to explain why it was worth the price tag.

Doten began by explaining that a double asteroid system is the “moon around an asteroid” and that NASA wants to crash into it so to see the “immediate effects on its orbit.”

“So the goal of this isn’t because this is actually headed towards earth, but it’s really to see our capabilities. It’s a first run and we picked a really safe target,” Doten said.

Doten goes on to say that while the target is a safe 7 million miles away, because there is a possibility an asteroid could hit Earth in the future and NASA only has accurate predictions 100 years out, “preparing in case we do find as asteroid that’s headed towards Earth is incredibly important,” she said.

The mission, which was completed around 6:26 p.m. CDT, was a success.

Watch the full interview above.

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