Space may be largely empty, but catastrophic collisions are inevitable.
One day, a major asteroid will be headed straight for Earth, begging the question: What can we do to stop it?
Scientists are seeking to answer that question with DART, or the Double Asteroid Redirection Test.
The probe will head to a binary system Didymos, where it will smash straight into the smaller object in something called a kinetic impact deflection.
The force won't fling the asteroid far but it will change its orbital path, giving scientists better insight into what it might take to steer a future asteroid off of a collision course with Earth.