Why a NASA spacecraft will crash into an asteroid

Photo credit: iStock, JHVEPhoto

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft is about to clobber a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles away.

The spacecraft named Dart will zero in on the asteroid Monday, intent on slamming it head-on at 14,000 mph. The impact should be just enough to nudge the asteroid into a slightly tighter orbit around its companion space rock.

It's the first save-the-world experiment of its kind. If successful, the test will demonstrate that if a killer asteroid ever heads our way, we'll stand a fighting chance.

Dart blasted off on the $325 million mission last fall.

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