Asteroid-bound spacecraft separates from rocket
Published on: Nov 24, 2021, 9:27 PM IST
Video from NASA shows the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft separating from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that carried it into space. The DART spacecraft, short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is on a mission to smash into an asteroid and test whether it would be possible to knock a speeding space rock off course if one were to threaten Earth. The spacecraft lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in a $330 million project late Tuesday. If all goes well, in September 2022 it will slam head-on into Dimorphos, an asteroid 525 feet (160 meters) across, at 15,000 mph (24,139 kph). The DART technique could prove useful for altering the course of an asteroid years or decades before it bears down on Earth with the potential for catastrophe.