Footage captured at the Sutherland Observing Station in South Africa shows the moment NASA deliberately crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid on Monday, September 26, to trial technology that may protect Earth from potential asteroid collisions.
According to NASA, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is the first-ever mission “dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact.”
The mission targeted Dimorphos, a small “moonlet” roughly the size of a football stadium, which is orbiting a larger asteroid named Didymos.
This footage, captured from a telescope in South Africa operated by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) Project at the University of Hawaii, shows the DART spacecraft colliding with Dimorphos. Credit: ATLAS Project, University of Hawaii via Storyful