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NASA launching mission to deflect an asteroid

Asteroid Defense Test
Posted at 1:43 PM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 17:06:43-05

NASA is scheduled to launch a "planetary defense-driven test" late Tuesday night.

The goal of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is to adjust the speed and path of an asteroid by using kinetic impactor technology.

The asteroid DART will be targeting is not a threat to Earth, NASA said.

"While no known asteroid larger than 140 meters in size has a significant chance to hit Earth for the next 100 years, only about 40 percent of those asteroids have been found as of October 2021," NASA said.

The DART spacecraft is scheduled to launch at 10:20 p.m. PT aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.

The spacecraft is expected to reach its destination in September 2022 and begin testing its impact on the asteroid.

The European Space Agency says this will be the first time humans have tried to alter the dynamics of a solar system body, according to CNN.