NASA’s DART asteroid-smashing mission: A complete guide


NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission will test a method of deflecting an asteroid for planetary defense, using the “kinetic impactor” technique. 

DART mission key facts

– Launched: Nov. 24, 2021 at 1:20 a.m. EDT (0620 GMT)

– Launch site: Space Launch Complex 4, Vandenberg Space Force Base in California

– Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9

– Target: Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos.

– Target distance from Earth: 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers)

Estimated cost: $313.9 million (£227.9 million)

– DART impact: Sept. 26, 2022.

DART slammed into a small asteroid — Dimorphos — in a bid to change the moonlet’s orbital speed by a fraction of a percent according to NASA (opens in new tab). Though Dimorphos poses no threat to Earth, the ambitious mission mimics what NASA scientists would do if an asteroid were headed toward Earth. 


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