Craft Will Slam Into Asteroid in Planetary Defense Test

NASA is about to launch a multimillion-dollar spacecraft — and slam it into an asteroid. Rather than being a catastrophic error, however, it will be the first test of a way to protect Earth from killer asteroids.

The asteroid that NASA is smashing into, called Dimorphos, is not a threat to Earth. But researchers want to see whether they can change its trajectory, long before they might need to use such a strategy to deflect a truly dangerous asteroid.

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