Since Earth is such a shitshow at times, we tend to forget there is a vast universe far beyond the sky. Luckily NASA is here to keep us equally educated and terrified. Recently NASA informed citizens of Planet Rock that there was a sure-shot asteroid heading our way, which is frightening. However, they concocted a plan to destroy the asteroid with a spaceship designed for the sole purpose of changing its course, so you know humans found a way to make #Armageddon a trending topic in anticipation of the end of the world (but not really).
Entertainment Weekly reports in a real-time plot pulled from the 1998 disaster drama Armageddon, there was an asteroid heading towards Earth aiming to destroy our entire planet! Well, scratch that. Our real-life version isn’t as heavy as the movie. The spaceship was designed to change the asteroid’s orbit through a special NASA program called DART, and not because NASA was hoping for a direct bullseye into the heart of the asteroid to save us all from oblivion. DART is an acronym for The Double Asteroid Redirection Test. And I’m hoping that during their mission they played Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar in hopes of hyping everyone up for a successful impact.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART for short, is expected to smash into the space rock at 7:14 p.m. ET, and just like the movie, you can watch it all happen: Images captured by the spacecraft will be available via livestream on NASA’s website and YouTube account beginning at 6 p.m. ET.
“For the first time ever, we will measurably change the orbit of a celestial body in the universe,” Robert Braun, head of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s Space Exploration Sector in Laurel, Md., told CNN.
Of course, since most people’s anxiety has reached threat level One Million these days anything dealing with the unknown aspects of Space gives them an automatic panic attack. And it was this wave of emotions that led to the hashtag #Armageddon trending on Twitter as folks prepared for the inevitable end of the world.
— Tyce N. Targaryen’s Version 𓅓🇺🇦 (@21stCenturyCeo) September 26, 2022
— tony anstatt 🦘🇪🇸🏴 (@treacl) September 26, 2022
If you were wondering if we survived Armageddon or not, we did! Cue up Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck reuniting to throw animal crackers in the air in celebration, as the only thing raining down from the sky will be delicious semi-sweet treats and not fire and brimstone from up above. But honestly, the Earth was never in any true danger according to NASA.
The asteroid, which, also unlike the movie, poses no threat of striking the Earth. Instead, a small unmanned spacecraft will ram into the rock — a 525-foot-wide asteroid named Dimorphos — at 13,421 miles per hour. The craft is about 100 times smaller than the asteroid, so it won’t blow it to pieces like in the movie, but that’s okay: NASA only hopes to change Dimorphos’ speed as it orbits a much larger asteroid (named Didymos) by 1 percent.
“Sometimes we describe it as running a golf cart into a great pyramid or something like that,” Nancy Chabot, planetary scientist and DART coordination lead at the Applied Physics Laboratory, told CNN. “But for Dimorphos, this really is about asteroid deflection, not disruption.”
I think in celebration we should all sing I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith at our local karaoke bars this evening. However, another option would be Crash Into Me by Dave Matthews Band as a way of letting the asteroids know we will ALWAYS win the war against them!
Check out the footage of DART’s successful mission below.
IMPACT SUCCESS! Watch from #DARTMIssion’s DRACO Camera, as the vending machine-sized spacecraft successfully collides with asteroid Dimorphos, which is the size of a football stadium and poses no threat to Earth. pic.twitter.com/7bXipPkjWD
— NASA (@NASA) September 26, 2022