NASA is conducting a crash test about 7 million miles from Earth.
During the Twofold Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) set for Monday, a spacecraft will slam into a 525-ft. wide asteroid called Dimorphos assuming that all works out as expected.
The crash, planned for 7:14 p.m. EDT, is going to be monitored on cameras and telescopes. Watch the live feed of the test above.
The test is in preparation for a potential need in the future to guard the planet against asteroids and comets on a collision course with Earth.
“This really is about asteroid deflection, not disruption,” Nancy Chabot, a planetary scientist and mission team leader at Johns Hopkins College’s Applied Material science Laboratory, told the AP.
“This isn’t going to explode the asteroid. Placing it into loads of pieces isn’t going.”
It’ll take days before scientists understand assuming the asteroid actually changed its course after the planetary guard test, which allegedly costs $325 million.
Dimorphos, which circles a parent asteroid called Didymos, is not a threat, NASA says.
According to CBS News, there isn’t an asteroid NASA knows to be larger than 459 feet across that has “significant chance” of hitting Earth in the following 100 years.
In any case, the actual collision is being taken a gander at as monumental in the “history of humankind,” per NASA planetary protection officer Lindley Johnson.
“This demonstration is critical to our future here on the Earth and life on Earth,” Johnson said, according to CBS News.
The Johns Hopkins College’s Applied Material science Laboratory is managing Dart, and the navigation of the spacecraft can allegedly tell the smaller asteroid target from its larger sister asteroid before it makes impact. NASA says there’s an under 10% chance that Dart will miss its target, per the AP.
“This is stuff of sci-fi books and really silly episodes of ‘StarTrek’ from when I was a youngster, and presently it’s real,” NASA program scientist Tom Statler told the AP.
NASA is holding a 6 p.m. EDT briefing Monday, as well as a second at 8 p.m. after the impact.