NASA is paying SpaceX $69M to crash a rocket into an asteroid

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NASA today awarded SpaceX a $69 million contract to redirect an asteroid off its intended path.

The mission, called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), uses a technique known as a kinetic impactor. It involves sending one or more high-speed spacecraft into the path of an approaching near-earth object — in this case, an asteroid.

If successful, the rocket would steer the asteroid away from the Earth’s orbital path, avoiding the need for an Armageddon sequel, presumably. NASA demonstrated this on a smaller scale with the Deep Impact mission in 2005 — the name of yet another asteroid movie that we probably aren’t going to need a sequel for.

DART’s goal is to bring down the reaction time needed to thwart

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