NASA’s asteroid-slamming DART spacecraft catches 1st look at target (pictured)

That’s no moon. That’s a moonlet.

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) (opens in new tab) spacecraft just beamed back the first image of its target, the moonlet Dimorphos, as well as its body it orbits, the asteroid Didymos (opens in new tab). DART is a planetary defense test mission designed to impact the moonlet to alter its trajectory around Didymos. If proven effective, this spacecraft design could potentially be scaled up to deflect an Earth-bound asteroid (opens in new tab). (Didymos and Dimorphos pose no threat to Earth (opens in new tab) — they are a test site for the kinetic impact technology.)

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