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NASA fly spacecraft into asteroid

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NASA has crashed one of its probe spacecraft into an asteroid, destroying itself in the process.

The collision was intentional and designed to test whether space rocks that might threaten Earth could be nudged safely out of the way.

The impact was on an asteroid 160m called Dimorphos. A camera on board DART captured the impact. What had been a steady image stream cut out as the probe was obliterated.

It will be some weeks before scientists at NASA know whether their experiment has worked.

NASA will determine success by studying the changes to the orbit of Dimorphos around another asteroid known as Didymos.

More than two dozen telescopes on Earth will make precise measurements of the two-rock, or binary, system.

Before the collision, Dimorphos took roughly 11 hours and 55 minutes to circle its 780m-wide partner.

This ought to reduce by a few minutes following the crash.

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