While NASA launched a mission that will deliberately crash into an asteroid, space enthusiast Elon Musk has something else in his mind. The SpaceX CEO sees NASA’s DART mission as an opportunity to avenge the extinction of dinosaurs from the Earth. Musk in a tweet to NASA said that the space agency will avenge an event that occurred million years. It is believed that an asteroid had hit the Earth causing the elimination of dinosaurs from the planet. Musk referred to this event to say that NASA’s spacecraft will avenge the wipeout of the creature. Past studies said that dinosaurs lived on the planet more than 65 million years ago. But dinosaurs became extinct because of the impact of asteroids hitting the Earth.
The DART is a planetary defense mission. The DART spacecraft will slam into an asteroid. It will demonstrate the asteroid-deflecting technology. The test is important as the technique could be used in the future to cut the risk of space rocks hitting the Earth. The impact generated by the spacecraft will change the motion and direction of the asteroid. According to NASA, the DART is the first such mission. It will showcase the kinetic impactor technique in space. The spacecraft will hit Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos even as NASA said that the system poses no threat to Earth. As per the date set by NASA, the spacecraft will slam into Didymos and Dimorphos in September next year. The spacecraft is carrying an autonomous targeting system.
The asteroid that led to the disappearance of dinosaurs had originated from the outer half of the main asteroid belt in the solar system. The impact was such that it caused a massive global extinction event on the Earth. The object was approximately 9.6 km wide. When the space rock made sudden contact with Earth, it wiped out dinosaurs and more than 75 percent of animal species on the planet. NASA said that the main purpose of the DART mission is to make Earth ready to counter any threat that emerges from bodies from space.