A spacecraft aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on November 23 as part of a mission to test asteroid-deflecting technology, NASA said.
NASA said its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is a spacecraft “designed to impact an asteroid as a test of technology to see if it can change the motion of an asteroid in space.”
“The goal of the mission is to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future,” NASA said in a blog post about the launch.
The mission was set to target a non-threatening near-Earth asteroid called Didymos and its moonlet, NASA said. Credit: NASA via Storyful