There’s going to be an asteroid crash in space — and it’s fully intentional. NASA and SpaceX joined forces 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.
DART will take approximately ten years to reach Dimorphos (525 feet wide), an asteroid with a diameter of 525 feet. DART will then fly at 15,000 miles an hour and run into the asteroid in an attempt to steer it off course.
Although this asteroid does not pose a threat to Earth at the moment, scientists at NASA want to be ready in case future asteroids have any strange ideas about threatening Earth.
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.