NASA says its DART mission successfully changed asteroid's orbit

The final images of the DART mission.
(Image credit: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft that crashed into a 560-foot-wide asteroid last month was able to change the space rock's orbit, the agency confirmed on Tuesday.

DART hit the asteroid, known as Dimorphos, at 14,000 miles per hour, and over the last several weeks, NASA officials have been looking at the data and images collected before, during, and after impact. This was the first real-life test of technology that could protect the Earth from asteroids with the potential of harming the planet; Dimorphos, which orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos, never posed a threat to the Earth.

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