NASA will launch its asteroid-deflecting spacecraft soon, watch here

NASA will launch its very first planetary defense mission later this week, where it will crash a spacecraft into an asteroid.

@JakConnorTT
Published Mon, Nov 22 2021 1:03 AM CST

NASA is currently gearing up for its very first planetary defense mission that will include launching a spacecraft directly towards an asteroid in an attempt to redirect it.

NASA is targeting a binary asteroid system that features two asteroids; one smaller asteroid named Didymos and one larger asteroid named Dimorphos. Didymos, the smaller of the two asteroids, is orbiting its larger companion and will be the target of NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The space agency plans to launch a vending machine-sized asteroid towards Didymos in an attempt to change its orbit slightly. The results from this test will answer the question if NASA is capable of redirecting an asteroid if it's on route to hit Earth.

The DART spacecraft will be traveling at 15,000 mph and will collide with Didymos, which is about the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza. NASA expects that the impact should change Didymos' orbit by more than 1%, and if it does, the mission is considered a success. As the DART spacecraft is flying towards the asteroid, it will be taking images rapidly and relaying them back to Earth before it's completely destroyed.

NASA will launch its asteroid-deflecting spacecraft soon, watch here 01 | TweakTown.com

DART will launch on the back of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 1:20 a.m. ET on Wednesday, November 24 (10:20 p.m. PT on Tuesday, November 23). The event will be live-streamed by NASA and can be watched above.

More Asteroid News

Read more: Will the asteroid NASA is about to slam into cause problems for Earth?

Read more: NASA reveals chances of an asteroid hitting Earth in next 100 years

Read more: NASA answers, 'Is NASA really crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid?'

Read more: NASA experts reveal the chances of spotting an asteroid before impact

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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