Scientists planning to change course of Asteroid 'Didymoon'

A team of scientists are aiming to change the course of an Asteroid known as Didymoon by crashing a spacecraft into it.

The mission is a joint project between the U.S. and European Asteroid Deflection And Assessment (AIDA) and is aiming to determine if they can change the course of the travelling rock.Didymoon does not pose an immediate risk to Earth and the mission is just to test if such a mission would work if any such Asteroid moves towards Earth with possibility of damage.

The prime idea behind the experiment is to test if kinetic energy can be used to divert an asteroid from colliding with Earth. The missions are set to launch in October 2020 and expected to reach Didymoon by May 2022. American space agency, NASA has said that it will also send a mission called Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) to conduct a similar experiment.

Dr. Patrick Michel, lead investigator for the European Space Agency half of the mission, said that there is a need to understand asteroids in a better way in order to protect the planet from any such object.

Dr. Michel said, "To protect Earth from potentially hazardous impacts, we need to understand asteroids much better, what they are made of, their structure, origins and how they respond to collisions."