NASA to attempt asteroid redirection test mission

Goal of mission is to determine if spacecraft crash can change course of an asteroid

ARCHIVO - En esta imagen sin fecha proporcionada por la NASA se muestra al asteroide Bennu desde la sonda espacial Osiris-Rex. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/CSA/York/MDA va AP) (Uncredited)

NASA will attempt to redirect an asteroid by crashing a rocket into it.

This will be the agency’s first planetary defense test mission, according to NASA.

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Officials said the goal of the mission is to determine if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change the asteroid’s course.

The target for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, also known as DART, is not a threat to Earth because it does not pass close to our planet, according to NASA.

The launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket will take place from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

NASA said the target is the Didymos binary asteroid system where a small moon, Dimorphos, orbits the larger body, Didymos.

NASA said DART will intercept the smaller moonlet asteroid between Sept. 26 and Oct. 1, 2022 with the plans to impact Dimorphous to change its orbit around Didymos.


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Jon is a Web Producer for ClickOrlando and has been with News 6 since March 2019.