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NASA planning to crash spacecraft into asteroid in historic test of planetary defense technique

JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

On Monday, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft is set to collide with Dimorphos, a small asteroid, in an attempt to alter the object’s path.

The New York Times explains that in 2005, Congress set a mandate for NASA to find 90 percent of near-Earth asteroids that are big enough to destroy a city — those that are 460 feet or wider in diameter. As NASA searches for deadly asteroids, it also is developing methods for responding to a potential threat.

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