NASA Fires Off First-Ever Planetary Defense Test With Asteroid-Bound DART Spacecraft
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is meant to determine whether launching an object into an asteroid can successfully change the asteroid's trajectory.
The US space agency’s mission will see the DART spacecraft blasted into space atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base.
DART’s target will be the two-asteroid system Didymos, which does not currently pose a threat to Earth. The spacecraft isn’t expected to reach the binary system until late September or October in 2022.
If successful, the mission will see the expansion of a NASA planetary defense arsenal.
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