Nasa is set to test the planet’s defences against near Earth objects (NEOs) by slamming a spacecraft into an asteroid – in a bid to knock it from its path.
The mission, known as a double asteroid redirection test, will test defence technologies and strategies in preventing dangerous asteroids and meteors impacting Earth.
If all goes to plan, the autonomously navigated spacecraft – Dart – will intentionally hit with the asteroid at around four miles per second, it what is called a kinetic impact.
The asteroid, which is not a threat to the planet, is the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos which orbits a larger asteroid called Didymos.
Dart is scheduled to launch on a rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Falcon 9, tomorrow morning from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.
Though the chances of an asteroid hitting Earth are slim, with no known asteroid larger than 140 metres set to collide with the planet in the next 100 years.