NASA to crash spacecraft into asteroid to test planetary defense: What to know

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, the world’s first planetary defense test mission, is scheduled to launch early Wednesday morning. 

The agency said the mission will help determine if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change the asteroid’s course.

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DART, which is targeting an asteroid that is not a threat to Earth, is set to launch no earlier than 1:20 a.m. EST on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The spacecraft – traveling at a speed of roughly 6.6 kilometers per second – is headed for the small moonlet asteroid Dimorphos, which orbits a larger companion asteroid called Didymos.

Illustration of NASA’s DART spacecraft…

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News Source: https://www.foxnews.com/science/nasa-dart-mission-asteroid-what-to-know