Yet again, what was once science fiction has become science fact.
This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: Wikipedia.org, APNews.com, NASA.gov, and BusinessInsider.com.
Today’s science news has taken a page from the 1998 Bruce Willis feature, “Armageddon.” Per the film’s Wikipedia page: Armageddon is a 1998 American science fiction disaster film produced and directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film follows a group of blue-collar deep-core drillers sent by NASA to stop a gigantic asteroid on a collision course with Earth. It stars Bruce Willis with Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Will Patton, Peter Stormare, Keith David and Steve Buscemi. The film was a commercial success, grossing $553 million worldwide against a $140 million budget and becoming the highest-grossing film of 1998.
Though, as the page states, the movie was not critically well-received, it was a big hit with audiences not just domestically but around the world.
Reports emanating from NASA this week are historic in nature, and recall the 1998 hit.
Let us explore further.
On September 26, 2022, headlines were made globally, mirroring the interest in the above film. APNews.com published the news with the following sensational headline: “Bam! NASA Spacecraft Crashes Into Asteroid in Defense Test.”
As excerpted from the APNews.com report: A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth. The galactic slam occurred at a harmless asteroid 7 million miles (9.6 million kilometers) away, with the spacecraft named Dart plowing into the space rock at 14,000 mph (22,500 kph). Scientists expected the impact to carve out a crater, hurl streams of rocks and dirt into space and, most importantly, alter the asteroid’s orbit.“We have impact!” Mission Control’s Elena Adams announced, jumping up and down and thrusting her arms skyward.
Unlike the film, however, where events were introduced and tied-up within an approximate two-hour running time, the report also stated: Telescopes around the world and in space aimed at the same point in the sky to capture the spectacle. Though the impact was immediately obvious — Dart’s radio signal abruptly ceased — it will be days or even weeks to determine how much the asteroid’s path was changed.
The effort was a possible future defense of a potential careening earth-bound asteroid trajectory that would, in theory, save countless lives if diverted away.
BusinessInsider.com features a video of the moment of impact, included in its article titled “See Video of the Moment NASA's DART Spacecraft Crashed Itself Into an Asteroid and its Livestream Cut Out.”
As further stated in the article: NASA just slammed a spacecraft into a distant asteroid in the name of planetary defense. The asteroid, called Dimorphos, poses no threat to Earth. But the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) was designed for low stakes. NASA wants to see if it can change a space rock's orbit — just in case it ever discovers a large one bound for Earth. "We're embarking on a new era of humankind, an era in which we potentially have the capability to protect ourselves from something like a dangerous, hazardous asteroid impact," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's planetary science division, said on a livestream shortly after the DART impact.
Stay tuned to NewsBreak for further developments.
Thank you for reading.