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DART mission set to launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Tuesday

Posted at 4:03 PM, Nov 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-20 19:03:57-05

A SpaceX Falcon 9 will be carrying NASA's first planetary defense test mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

According to officials, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, is designed to direct itself to hit an asteroid while traveling at a speed of 15,000 miles per hour.

Col. Rob Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander, will be the launch decision authority.

“Space Launch Delta 30 is excited to partner with NASA and SpaceX on the first planetary defense test mission,” said Long. “Everyone involved has been working tirelessly to ensure this launch is safe and successful. I’m proud of their efforts.”

DART's target is the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos. DART is expected to impact the asteroid in fall of 2022, changing its orbit.

SpaceX Falcon 9 is set to launch at 10:20 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday.

The Hawk's Nest will be closing to the public for viewing, but those interested can view the DART mission launch from Hancock's Lompoc Valley Center.

Questions about the launch can be directed to