NASA and the European Space Agency said Friday that they will soon crash a craft into an asteroid to check if it can be deflected if it threatens Earth.
The spacecraft, Osiris-Rex, is to be intentionally exploded in the atmosphere around the end of next year. The spacecraft was launched in 2014, but it has sat mostly idle since then while its hardware was refurbished.
Osiris-Rex will crash into the asteroid Bennu on its planned August 2021 return to Earth. The spacecraft will not be hurt.
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NASA unveils latest announcement
NASA to smash spacecraft into asteroid to test its ability to deflect potential asteroid threat
NASA is readying a craft to crash into an asteroid to test how well a spacecraft could deflect a potentially threatening space rock from hitting Earth. It is part of the agency’s mission to prepare for future NASA spacecraft landing missions as well as address the risk of an asteroid hitting Earth.
Here’s what we know about the Osiris-Rex mission
How Osiris-Rex will complete its mission
What to expect from Osiris-Rex during its mission to the asteroid Bennu
Get ready for the crash in 2021