Orak, Felix, and Scorch had gathered around Verum’s crystal ball. For the first time, the four Mysticals were eagerly waiting to get an update about a crash! On any other normal day, the Gifted Four would have rushed to stop the crash.
Suddenly, Verum’s crystal ball went blank. It finally happened. After months of flying in space, NASA’s DART spacecraft crashed into an asteroid called Dimorphos! The crash happened on September 26.
“It was a successful crash!” Orak announced and the Mysticals cheered.
“I am wondering why are we cheering for the crash,” said Felix with slow claps.
“NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. DART’s full form is the Double Asteroid Redirection Test. Dimorphos is a small asteroid far away from Earth, Orak explained.
“I don’t understand why DART crashed into Dimorphos,” said a confused Scorch.
“Let me explain,” Orak said.
“Asteroids are rocky objects in space. Some asteroids are small in size and some are huge. They orbit the Sun on their own path. But sometimes, they can also hit planets.
When small asteroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up. They do not cause any harm to life on Earth.
But do you know what happened 65 million years ago? A huge asteroid crashed into Earth and dinosaurs went extinct!
What if another huge asteroid made its way toward Earth in the future? It could be dangerous to humans and other life on Earth. It could even destroy an entire continent!
That’s why NASA came up with the DART mission!” Orak said.
“And what is the DART mission?” Verum said.
“DART is a planetary defense test. Its mission is to protect Earth from asteroids. DART is a spacecraft the size of a golf cart. It crashed into Dimorphos to change the asteroid’s path.
Dimorphos is not really a danger to Earth. But DART was sent to it just as a test,” said Orak.
“Did the DART crash change Dimorphos’ path?” Felix wanted to know.
“Astronomers said that it was a successful mission. They will study the asteroid and check how much the path has changed!” Orak said.