NASA’s DART mission, which stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, will launch at 10:22 p.m. PT on November 23. It will be aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenburg Space Force Base in California. After taking off in November, NASA will test its new asteroid deflection technology around September 2022. The goal is to see how it impacts the motion of near-Earth asteroids in space.
The target the space agency is aiming for is Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting near an Earth asteroid Didymos. This will be the first time NASA demonstrates a technology they have that could help with planetary defense. Objects, asteroids, or comets that orbit within 30 million miles of Earth could potentially cause harm to the planet and NASA keeps a primary focus on them.
Didymos and Dimorphos, a binary system was found two decades and were given the names Didymos because it means “twin” in Greek. Didymos the larger asteroid, is nearly half a mile across and is orbited by Dimorphos a smaller moon that is 525 feet in diameter. When they discovered Dimorphos was named Didymos b.
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