NASA has launched the world’s first “full-scale mission” to test asteroid-deflecting technology in hopes of protecting Earth from potential “Armageddon.”
The space agency said in a statement the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) lifted off late Tuesday atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Vanderberg Space Force Base in California.
The mission of the $330 million project is to slam into a 530-foot asteroid, Dimorphos, at about 15,000 mph in late September 2022 to test a potential method of defense against potentially catastrophic asteroid or comet hazards.
The project is “something of a replay of Bruce Willis’ movie, ‘Armageddon,’ although that was totally fictional,” NASA’s administrator, Bill Nelson, told the New York Times.
Scientists estimate DART’s impact into Dimorphos — which orbits