Valerie Olson

In late September or early October of 2022, the 1,210-pound (550 kilograms) DART spacecraft will slam itself into an asteroid called Dimorphos. Scientists will be watching eagerly, measuring how much the impact speeds up the space rock's orbit around its larger companion, Didymos — the first real data about what it might really require to steer a threatening asteroid out of Earth's path. … "Intervening in small-body dynamics is just a huge deal," Valerie Olson, [associate professor of anthropology] at the University of California, Irvine who has studied the planetary defense community, told, Early advocates of planetary defense recognized that such a mission would at its core re-engineer the solar system, she noted.

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