There are over 1 billion Asteroids in our solar system. It only takes one to head towards our home, Planet Earth, to create something catastrophically, or even worse; The End. But NASA has a plan!

Last week NASA reported that its Asteroid-smashing planetary defense test was a success. DART Mission Impact managed to change the Asteroid’s Motion in Space. 

As this asteroid is “nearby” and was no threat at all to our Planet it was the perfect candidate to check if it is actually possible to change the direction of an asteroid by hitting it with a satellite, which it successfully did! 

Why would you hit an Asteroid?

You might have watched the recent Netflix movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio & Jennifer Lawrence, “Don’t Look Up” which is about a remote asteroid threat heading towards Planet Earth and big enough to be world-ending. NASA wanted to figure out if it has the capability to protect the world if such a scenario ever occurs.

When I talked with a friend of mine about this, he wasn’t as excited as I was. He said we shouldn’t play around with asteroids by hitting them and to run “tests” for things that “maybe but probably won’t” happen. (He didn’t watch Don’t Look Up”, yet.) I do agree that hitting an innocent Asteroid could “potentially” create an effect… followed by another effect and eventually turn into something against us that wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t had hit that asteroid in the first place (uff long sentence).

I think it is important we can protect ourselves from these types of threats, just in case.

As I mentioned in the introduction of this article, there are over 1 billion asteroids in our solar system. Imagine what is outside our solar system, in deep-dark space. NASA has already confirmed that there is currently no known significant threat of impact for the next hundred years, but what about five hundred years or more?

Now, I won’t turn this article into a whole tragic sci-fi article, but let’s be honest… it is possible that there’s an asteroid out there in deep space that’s heading itself towards our Planet, which is why I support these DART missions entirely to protect our Planet from any outer-space threat.

And there are some big ones out there…

Interstellar Objects are Scary

After reading the text above, you might think; Oh come on, Carlo, how big is the chance we won’t spot an Asteroid on time? We got some very smart people that are dealing with this every day…

Ehmm.. Well…

Do you remember the “Oumuamua” asteroid back in 2017? It was the very first interstellar object detected passing through our Solar System, discovered by Robert Weryk. Usually, we can detect asteroids that are very, very far away. However, this wasn’t the case with Oumuamua. 

When it was first observed, it was about 33 million KM (21 million miles) from Earth (about 85 times as far away as the Moon), and already heading out from the Sun. And if that wasn’t enough… it also got an unexpected speed boost.. which has never happened before with an asteroid. 

Animation of Oumuamua passing through the Solar System by NASA

If you want to read a little more about this Oumuamua Asteroid, just click here!

Anyways, the bottom line here is that I support that NASA is experimenting with outer-space defense systems. Now, we also got the US Space Force (whatever they’re up to), but NASA had its very first successful mission to change the direction of an asteroid, and that’s a huge accomplishment! 

Whether you support these missions or you’re completely against them, shall we just agree that it is good to have a defense system to protect our home?