NASA’s DART asteroid-slamming mission builds on tiny diamond-tipped tool tech

A NASA spacecraft is on its way to slam into a space rock, but what happens next is still unclear.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission launched in November and will arrive at its destination in late September. If all goes well, the impact will change the orbit of a small asteroid, Dimorphos, around a larger asteroid called Didymos. But just how much the orbit will change is difficult to predict. Leading up to the mission, scientists used samples collected from two different space rocks to test in an attempt to understand the future impact.