On Wednesday, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) was launched from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
This is the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against “potential asteroid or comet hazards.” DART was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
“Just one part of NASA’s larger planetary defense strategy, DART — built and managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland — will impact a known asteroid that is not a threat to Earth,” announced NASA in a statement. “Its goal is to slightly change the asteroid’s motion in a way that can be accurately measured using ground-based telescopes.”
NASA explained that “DART will show that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a