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Asteroid Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos are not a threat to Earth, but because they do pass relatively close to Earth, so they were chosen as the target for NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission. The redirect technology could one day be used to deflect asteroids on a collision course with our home planet. NASA JPL DART Navigation Team hide caption

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NASA JPL DART Navigation Team

Asteroid Deflection Mission, Activate!

In movies, asteroids careening towards Earth are confronted by determined humans with nuclear weapons to save the world! But a real NASA mission wants to change the course of an asteroid now (one not hurtling towards Earth). The Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, launched in 2021 and on Monday, September 26, 2022, makes contact with the celestial object. In 2021, NPR science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce talked about what it takes to pull off this mission and how it could potentially protect the Earth in the future from killer space rocks, and that's what you'll hear today. And stay tuned - when NASA has the results of contact in a few weeks, Short Wave will bring Nell back to tell us all about it!

Asteroid Deflection Mission, Activate!

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A view of Jupiter's Great Red Spot and turbulent southern hemisphere was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft in 2019. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

NASA's Artemis 1 Moon rocket sits at Launch Pad Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on June 15. Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images

Illustration of the expansion of the Universe. The Cosmos began 13.7 billion years ago (left). Immediately it began expanding and cooling (stage 1). Its expansion slowed about 10 billion years ago (stage 2). We are now at stage 4. The expansion shows no signs of stopping and is in fact accelerating. The orange arrows indicate the force of gravity, which slows but does not stop the expansion. MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRA/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra hide caption

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MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRA/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

What The Universe Is Doing RIGHT NOW

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A United States Space Force flag flies along with flags of other armed service branches. The Space Force announced on Friday that the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez has joined its University Partnership Program. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images hide caption

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Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Sixty years ago, President John F. Kennedy delivered an address at Rice University to inspire Americans to support NASA's mission to the moon. In what became known as his "We Choose the Moon" speech, Kennedy promised to put an American astronaut on the moon before the end of the 1960s. Anonymous/AP hide caption

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Anonymous/AP

The telescopes of the SPECULOOS Southern Observatory in the Atacama Desert, Chile. The telescopes were used to confirm and characterize a new planet discovered by NASA, which led to the discovery of another nearby planet. ESO/P.Holárek hide caption

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ESO/P.Holárek

In Vesper, Raffiella Chapman plays a 13-year-old girl living in a future where biological experiments have wiped out all the earth's edible plants. Courtesy of IFC Films hide caption

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Courtesy of IFC Films

You'll want these five films on your list for fall

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NASA's Space Launch System rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Saturday before the planned launch was scrubbed due to fuel leaks. NASA/Getty Images hide caption

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NASA/Getty Images

The Artemis 1 moon rocket at Launch Pad 39 at the Kennedy Space Center. Gregg Newton/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Gregg Newton/AFP via Getty Images

How Artemis 1 fits into NASA's grand vision for space exploration

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This infrared image from NASA Spitzer Space Telescope shows hundreds of thousands of stars crowded into the swirling core of our spiral Milky Way galaxy. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

Could the ocean contain alien technology? Astronomer Avi Loeb thinks there is a chance. Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

An astronomer thinks alien tech could be on the ocean floor. Not everyone agrees

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Edna Sims

Astronaut Charlie M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, is photographed collecting lunar samples during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity at the Descartes landing site. John W. Young/NASA hide caption

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John W. Young/NASA

NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, standing atop the mobile launcher at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Artemis I will test SLS and Orion as an integrated system prior to crewed flights to the Moon. NASA/Kim Shiflett hide caption

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NASA/Kim Shiflett

Artemis: NASA's New Chapter In Space

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