Nasa is ready with a sci-fi plot and it will play out for real

Schematic of the DART mission shows the impact on the moonlet of asteroid (65803) Didymos. Post-impact observations from Earth-based optical telescopes and planetary radar would, in turn, measure the change in the moonlet’s orbit about the parent body. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab

In 1998, two Hollywood sci-fi flicks — Armageddon and Deep Impact — enthralled us with magnificent plots: Nasa dispatches a crew to blow up an asteroid that is on a collision course with earth, with a potential to wipe away humanity. The protagonists carry out the mission successfully and save the planet from catastrophe.

Who knew that Nasa would manifest a somewhat similar mission in reality just under 25 years after the movies were released.

Nasa’s upcoming DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission, albeit an uncrewed one, has all the ingredients of any sci-fi thriller.

The rogue rocks

To continue reading this article...

You have to be a Premium Subscriber

Start your subscription with a free trial

Enjoy unlimited Eighth column, archives and games on
thefederal.com and many more features.
You will also be supporting ethical and unbiased journalism.
plans start from Rs. 99
CATCH US ON: