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NASA’s asteroid-deflecting DART mission launches tonight


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One of NASA’s most exciting and unusual missions in years, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), is scheduled to launch tonight on its way to strike and deflect an incoming space rock millions of miles from Earth. You can watch it live here, though it’ll be some time before the big smash happens.


DART is our first attempt as a spacefaring species to deliberately change the path of an oncoming asteroid. Rest assured this one in particular is no danger to our precious planet, but does happen to be a perfect test bed for the type of interception that might be necessary should such a danger appear.


“Planetary Defense has been working on the problem for, really, decades,” explained Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “It’s time to start getting together this toolset — it’s getting important for all our stakeholders. It’s really been in the last five years or so that the program has increased its support. And the target has been around for at least five years before that — people were talking about how this is really perfect, we can view its success from the ground, there’s no need for a second investigation.”






I live in Sacramento so I should be able to see it briefly.

Edited by UltraMega
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