NASA’s Vending Machine-Sized Spacecraft Crashes into Football Stadium-Size Asteroid in the World’s First Planetary Defense Test (VIDEO)

Earth’s ability to withstand an asteroid strike or comet hazard was put to the test for the first time as a NASA spacecraft collided with a non-hazardous asteroid in the ‘world’s first planetary defense test.’

“This is only a test – of planetary defense. Today, our DART Mission is set to crash into a non-hazardous asteroid to test deflection technology, should we ever discover a threat,” NASA wrote on Twitter.

Watch the video:

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), a spacecraft the size of a vending machine, slammed head-on with the football stadium-sized asteroid Dimorphos at a speed of 14,000 miles per hour to alter its orbit forever.

“Watch from DART MIssion’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,” NASA wrote.

Watch the video below:

NBC News reported:

The $325 million mission was designed to see whether “nudging” an asteroid can alter its trajectory, providing scientists with a valuable real-world test of planetary defense technologies.

A camera aboard DART captured live views of Dimorphos’ getting bigger as the probe neared the asteroid. In the minutes before impact, the probe beamed back jaw-dropping details of the space rock’s craggy, uneven surface.

“Oh my goodness,” said Elena Adams, a DART mission systems engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson congratulated the DART team, saying efforts by the international group of scientists will help humanity protect Earth from incoming asteroids.

“We are showing that planetary defense is a global endeavor and it is very possible to save our planet,” Nelson said.

It may take up to several weeks for NASA to confirm any changes in the space rock’s trajectory. The goal is to shorten the asteroid’s nearly 12-hour orbit by several minutes.

In a real-life planetary defense situation, even a small change in an asteroid’s trajectory — provided it is still far enough — could avert a doomsday impact.

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Jim Hᴏft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016.

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