Google celebrates NASA's successful 'first planetary defence technology demonstration' with a cool new animation. Google is displaying an animation featuring NASA's spacecraft mission in its web browser. All you need to do is Google search "NASA DART" in whichever way possible.
NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) crashed into an asteroid moving past from its orbit. The mission was one of the first attempts to see if the asteroid or similar celestial bodies can be diverted from its path to shield Earth from any possible collision. To celebrate the achievement, Google has introduced a new animation gimmick imitating NASA's DART mission.
Now, if you search for "NASA DART" or "NASA DART mission" on Google search it will trigger an animation. You will see an animated NASA spacecraft flying on the screen and hitting the right side of the screen. The animation will also change the angle of the search screen giving a more immersive feel.
NASA has launched the DART mission to test if asteroids that might collide with Earth can be diverted safely from their path. In its first test, the $344 million spacecraft intentionally crashed on an asteroid to change its orbital path.
NASA launched DART to hit the asteroid moonlet Deimorpos, which is a moonlet of the Didymos asteroid system. The spacecraft hit the target asteroid at 24,000 kilometres per hour to change its orbital path. The mission was launched to test a kinetic impactor technology that might possibly be used to protect Earth from an approaching asteroid. "At its core, DART represents an unprecedented success for planetary defence, but it is also a mission of unity with a real benefit for all humanity," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
Notably, NASA will have to wait for about two months before be sure if the spacecraft was able to give the asteroid a meaningful collision and change its track.
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