A spacecraft has launched on a mission to test technology that could one day tip a dangerous asteroid off course.
Nasa’s Dart mission wants to see how difficult it would be to stop a huge space rock from colliding with Earth
The spacecraft will crash into an object called Dimorphos to see how much its speed and path can be altered.
If a chunk of cosmic debris measuring a few hundred metres across were to collide with our planet, it could unleash continent-wide devastation.
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dart spacecraft blasted off at 06:20 GMT on Wednesday from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.