The spacecraft, slightly smaller than the size of a car, collided with the asteroid as expected at 23:14 GMT at a speed of more than 20 thousand km/h.
And the American space agency transmitted the facts of this collision directly on the air. As soon as the spacecraft hit the asteroid, the NASA crew members gathered at the Mission Supervision Center in Maryland, United States, exploded with joy..
Minutes before the spacecraft collided with the asteroid Demorphos, which is 11 million km from Earth, the image of the object began to grow larger and larger as the spacecraft approached it.
In a live broadcast, the cameras on the spacecraft sent out beautiful images of the astronomical body, showing every detail of Dimorphos, including its gray surface and the small pebbles that cover it. The moment the vehicle hit the asteroid and crashed onto it, the transmission of images stopped.
“We are on the cusp of a new era in which we have the potential to protect ourselves from dangerous asteroid impacts,” said Laurie Gleese, director of planetary sciences at NASA.
Demorphos, which is about 160 meters in diameter, poses no threat to Earth.
In fact, this small asteroid is a moon orbiting another larger asteroid called Didymos.
It takes Demorphos 11 hours 55 minutes to make a full circle around Didymus. But NASA aims, through the mission it carried out on Monday, to reduce this period by 10 minutes by reducing the orbit of Demorphos by bringing it closer to Didymus.
It will take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to see if the trajectory of the small asteroid was actually altered by the impact.
And this task will be carried out by scientists on Earth thanks to their telescopes.