DART: NASA launches first planetary defense mission that seeks to deflect an asteroid with an impact

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  • BBC News World

Image source, NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

Caption,

The DART ship is on a mission to crash into Dimorphos.

If a cosmic object a few hundred meters in diameter were to hit Earth, it could unleash great devastation.

Although that is unlikely to happen in the near future and scientists have clarified that there is no imminent risk, NASA, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), has worked for years on a planetary defense system whose pilot finally took off from Earth this Wednesday.

The DART mission was launched successfully at 06:21 GMT on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Base, California, USA.

DART which in English means dart and whose acronym in English correspond to Asteroid Double Redirection Test, aims to test technology that might one day be necessary to deflect a dangerous asteroid from its course.

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