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Google launches new search gadget inspired by NASA’s DART mission: NPR


Google’s new animation shows a spaceship confusing your screen.

Screenshot by NPR


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Screenshot by NPR

Google launches new search gadget inspired by NASA's DART mission: NPR

Google’s new animation shows a spaceship confusing your screen.

Screenshot by NPR

Tech giant Google took the initiative to throw its own kind of celebration after NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission successfully crashed into an asteroid on Monday night.

If you Google “NASA DART” or “NASA DART mission” it will trigger an animation featuring a spacecraft hitting the “News” tab and flipping your search results.

The research gadget mirrors NASA’s real-life mission to nudge asteroid Dimorphos slightly off course as it orbits another asteroid.

None of the asteroids, located about 7 million kilometers away, pose a threat to Earth. But the real purpose of the test is to see if it’s possible to knock an asteroid off course if it becomes a danger to Earth in the future.

NASA engineers say it will take about two months before they can tell if the spacecraft was able to deliver a significant boost to the asteroid.

Google often unveils special graphics or animations, including 4th of July fireworks, but an animation that changes the angle of search results seems to be new. The company’s Google Doodles on Google.com frequently feature historical figures or events on anniversaries.



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