It’s only been about two weeks since NASA’s DART mission collided with the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos, but the good news is already pouring in.
Today, Oct. 11, NASA announced that not only did DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) meet its preliminary goals — it exceeded them by a longshot. In a media briefing, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson confirmed that DART successfully changed Dimorphos’ trajectory, changing the orbit around its parent asteroid, Didymos, from 11 hours and 55 minutes to 11 hours and 23 minutes.
Nelson added that the mission was “expected to be a success” if it altered Dimorphos’ orbit by 10 minutes, but DART did even better, changing it by about 32 minutes.
“We showed the world that NASA is a serious defender of this planet,” Nelson said. “It felt like a movie plot, but this was not Hollywood.”