This NASA mission may cause an artificial meteor shower

May 13, 2020

If all goes to plan, in September 2022 a NASA spacecraft, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission or DART, will slam into a space rock with the equivalent energy of three tons of TNT. The goal is to nudge the orbit of its target object ever-so-slightly, a practice run to see if we could divert an asteroid from a catastrophic impact with our planet in the future.

2016 Wall Scholar Aaron Boley, a professor in UBC’s department of physics and astronomy, commented on NASA’s test noting this would be the first time human activity on an asteroid ejects debris that reaches Earth.

Boley is also the co-founder of UBC’s Outer Space Institute – an interdisciplinary crew of lawyers, business experts, sociologists and planetary scientists, some of whom he met at the Peter Wall Institute.