It was announced in a joint effort U.S. and European Space Agencies are planning to slam a spaceship into the asteroid Didymos.
The mission is called the joint European/U.S. Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission, or AIDA. Space officials announced Friday that they will plan to intercept the space rock in 2022.
The project will help scientists learn about the possibility of deflecting an asteroid from a possible collision course with Earth. Scientists will send a small probe into the asteroid which is 2,625-foot-wide and is part of a binary system. The asteroid and a smaller asteroid are in constant orbit each other. The probe will travel at 14,000 miles per hour and impact the asteroid while another spacecraft films the experiment.
Asteroid Didymos is currently 6.8 million miles from earth and poses no threat at this time. Reported by Space.com. the target was chosen by the AIDA, which also announced that the spacecraft for the project is called DART (short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test) provided by Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory while the craft which will be filming the collision is the AIM (Asteroid Impact Monitor) and will come from ESA.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has asked all scientists world wide to propose to them other ideas and experiments that could potentially help stop another asteroid impacting earth. The study has been thrust into the spotlight after the Russian town of Chelyabinsk was struck by an asteroid. 1200 people were injured when it hit February 15th.