NASA Craft Rams Distant Asteroid in Test of Earth Defense:
- Impact occurred 6.8 million miles away after a 10-month trip
- NASA is in the early stages of a plan to protect Earth from space rocks
A NASA spacecraft successfully crashed into an asteroid approximately 6.8 million miles (10.9 million kilometers) from Earth in a test to determine if the impact can nudge the space rock slightly off course. NASA launched its DART spacecraft in November 2021 with the express purpose of colliding with an asteroid about the size of a football stadium at 14,000 miles per hour.