The spacecraft collided with the asteroid at 15,000mph at 7.14pm EDT. Live-streamed video showed the asteroid’s rubble-strewn surface looming into focus before the spacecraft hit and cheers erupted in the mission control room. Teams of Nasa and Johns Hopkins University scientists hugged each other as Dart’s successful impact with Dimorphos was confirmed.
Shortly after impact, Lori Glaze, Nasa’s planetary science division director, declared it a “new era of humankind”.
“[It’s] an era in which we potentially have the capability to protect ourselves from something like a dangerous hazardous asteroid impact,” said Glaze. “What an amazing thing. We’ve never had that capability before.”