Unlike many other natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, it is possible to predict whether a asteroid or meteorite will collide with the Earth. This is why ESA has designed a new proposal to divert asteroids that could put life on our planet at risk, and now has received a green light to prove it.
The ministers and politicians responsible for the European Space Agency have approved the Hera mission, which consists of sending two spacecraft to a two asteroid system with the purpose of trying to divert one of them from its trajectory, an experiment that, if successful, It could become a defense system against the possible risk of a collision with the Earth.
The mission, an ESA work in collaboration with NASA, will crash a probe called DART in the smallest asteroid in the system, known as Didymoon, at a speed of 21,500 kilometers per hour. Then, the Hera spacecraft will fly over the asteroid and then perch on Didymoon to study if there has been any change in the asteroid's trajectory, even if it is minimal, and will analyze data from the DART impact crater and spatial object composition.
Didymoon is a "small" asteroid (approximately the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza), so it is a complicated mission for those responsible for Hera. Anyway, an asteroid of this size could cause much destruction on Earth, from colliding, so according to ESA, this mission wants to turn asteroid deviation into "a real and understood planetary defense practice." (THAT via Engadget)