NASA and SpaceX Launch ‘DART’ Mission to Crash Into and Stop Asteroids From Hitting Earth
NASA and SpaceX have joined together to launch what NASA calls a mission of “planetary defense.”
There’s going to be an asteroid crash in space — and it’s fully intentional. NASA and SpaceX have joined together to launch what NASA calls a mission of “planetary defense.”
DART, or the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, took to the skies at 10:20 p.m. on November 23 from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base.
DART hitched a ride to space on the back of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
The Falcon 9 rocket returned to Earth about nine minutes after lift-off, but DART’s mission will be much longer.
It will take about ten months for DART to reach a 525-foot-wide asteroid named Dimorphos. Then, soaring at 15,000 miles per hour, DART will run into the asteroid, attempting to move it off course.
This asteroid is not currently an actual threat to Earth, but scientists at NASA want to be prepared if any future asteroids get any funny ideas about hurting the planet.
DART costs about $330 Million, but NASA and SpaceX think that’s a small price to pay for testing out a technology that may someday save the world.
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