NASA last week successfully did what it normally tries to avoid, and destroyed one of its own spacecraft — by ramming it into an asteroid. It was the first step in an experiment that could one day spare humanity from the fate of the dinosaurs by knocking a celestial threat off course. In an age when science is too often under attack from climate-change deniers, anti-vaxxers and others, it’s a timely reminder that scientists are, in fact, on the good side.


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