NASA broadcast the mission live - here you can see the asteroid moon Dimorphos just before the probe hit it
- / AFP
For the first time, a probe from the US space agency Nasa intentionally crashed into an asteroid during a defense test.
The unmanned probe of the mission "Dart" (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), equipped only with a camera, steered into the asteroid Dimorphos as planned on Tuesday night.
This was announced by NASA.
The authority broadcast the spectacle live.
When it became clear that the probe would hit the asteroid, loud cheers broke out in the control center in the US state of Maryland.
From the approximately 330 million dollar mission, Nasa hopes to find out how the earth could be protected from approaching asteroids.
The question is whether it might be possible to alter the trajectory of an asteroid in this way.
Scientists are currently not aware of any asteroid that could be heading straight for Earth in the foreseeable future - but researchers have identified around 27,000 asteroids near Earth, around 10,000 of them with a diameter of more than 140 meters.
According to NASA calculations, Dimorphos, a kind of moon of the asteroid Didymos with a diameter of around 160 meters, currently poses no danger to Earth. And the mission is designed in such a way that the asteroid should not pose a danger even after the probe has hit it.