Why NASA is going full Michael Bay and attacking an asteroid?

In a move clearly inspired by the hyperrealistic movie Armageddon, NASA has decided to attack an asteroid.

The space agency, however, has recklessly overlooked Michael Bay’s ingenious idea of training oil drillers to become astronauts. Nor will the NASA nerds follow the director’s advice of blasting the rock with a nuclear bomb. Instead, they want to smack it with a spacecraft.

Life disregarding art

Smaller asteroids frequently strike the Earth, but most burn up in the atmosphere before they reach the planet’s surface.

That doesn’t mean we have nothing to fear, however. Just try telling the dinosaurs that space rocks aren’t dangerous. You can’t — because they were wiped out by an asteroid around 66 million years ago. I’m sorry you had to find out this way.

If you think that asteroid sounded bad, remember that it was only about 10 km wide. The comet in Armageddon, meanwhile, was “the size of Texas”– around 1,000 km wide. Given Bay’s reputation as a cinematic soothsayer, it’s a relief that NASA is finally taking action.

The agency’s mission, superbly acronymized as DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), will test a novel method of averting future collisions.

DART will be the first demonstration of the ‘kinetic impactor’ technique in which a spacecraft deliberately collides with a known asteroid at high speed to change the asteroid’s motion in space,” said Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer, who will presumably play the role of Billy Bob Thornton.

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