SpaceX to conduct ‘humanity’s first planetary defence test’ to redirect asteroid

The launch occurred on Tuesday evening Pacfic time at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California

California : SpaceX is planning to conduct humanity’s first planetary defence test to redirect an asteroid through Falcon 9’s launch of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission on Tuesday (local time).

“DART is humanity’s first planetary defence test mission to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future,” read a statement by SpaceX.

This will be the third flight for this Falcon 9’s first stage booster, which previously supported the launch of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and a Starlink mission. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will land on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which will be located in the Pacific Ocean, it said.

The instantaneous launch window is at 10:21 pm PST (6:21 UTC on November 24), and a backup opportunity is available on Wednesday, November 24 at 10:20 pm PST (6:20 UTC on November 25), added the statement.

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