A NASA spacecraft launched Monday morning to crash into an asteroid that orbits the sun.
The Sojourner impactor is due to plunge into the asteroid Bennu and alter its orbit and viability for extraterrestrial life. It will also send the scientific results back to Earth in the near future.
The spacecraft began its mission in approximately seven years by orbiting around Bennu’s surface for around three months. The two spacecrafts will have planned ten encounters total.
Scientists hope the spacecraft will provide answers to one of the earliest cosmic mysteries – how did the planets begin to form and evolve? The Bennu asteroid is located about 2,300 million miles from Earth.
This massive asteroid has also been named as something that may have once been home to an asteroid that resulted in an impact to become what was known as the “Meteor Crater.” Scientists say if it was nearby back then then it could have provided enough energy to destroy the entire planet.
Before the impact from the spacecrafts, the spacecraft will be moving at 60,000 mph, approaching the asteroid in less than a day.
NASA will monitor the impact on spacecraft during the mission which is scheduled to end in four to seven months.
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