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Elon Musk wants NASA to be an Avenger!

Elon Musk has put out a tweet encouraging NASA's DART mission to “avenge the dinosaurs”. The DART mission will hit its target asteroid in September 2022.

Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 22:18 IST
Elon Musk asks NASA to avenge the dinosaurs jokingly with the DART mission that launched atop the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. (Bloomberg)
Elon Musk asks NASA to avenge the dinosaurs jokingly with the DART mission that launched atop the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. (Bloomberg)

NASA launched its DART mission towards the asteroid belt and its social media team put out a sarcastic yet logical tweet. Since it is space we are talking about, SpaceX founder Elon Musk couldn't resist an equally sarcastic congratulatory tweet. The DART mission was launched aboard the SpaceX falcon 9 launch vehicle.

NASA's Asteroid Watch twitter handle wrote, “Asteroids have been hitting the Earth for billions of years. Now, we begin to make it stop. @NASA's planetary defense test mission – the #DARTMission – has lifted off and is now on a journey to impact an asteroid in the fall of 2022.”

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Elon Musk wants NASA to avenge dinos!

Elon Musk then quoted this tweet with the following statement, “Avenge the dinosaurs!!” Musk clearly took a dig at the ancient mass extinction event on Earth caused by an asteroid millions of years ago, which led to dinosaurs go from living beings to fossils.

While Musk's comment was funny, NASA's DART mission is not after any fragment of that massive asteroid that wiped out dinos. According to the data from NASA, Earth is in no danger from any asteroid for now. That said, should humanity face a similar issue in the future, NASA wants to have a defence system to gift ourselves another chance.

The DART mission is enroute to an asteroid far away in the asteroid belt, called Dimorphos, which is 530 feet in diameter. The DART mission will strike this moonlet with the primary spacecraft while the second one sitting slightly at a distance will observe the impact. Ground telescopes will then study if a projectile spacecraft can be used to deter asteroids from their original path.

Is this the answer to prevent a mass extinction event from asteroids? That is something DART will have to answer next year around September. 

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First Published Date: 27 Nov, 17:04 IST