NASA launches DART asteroid mission to destroy a spacecraft to (potentially) save planet Earth


VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. — NASA has launched its first planetary defense mission to practice what the agency might do if planet Earth were threatened by a wayward asteroid.

The agency’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission launched at 10:20 p.m. local time on Tuesday night, Nov. 23 (1:20 a.m. EDT, or 0620 GMT Nov. 24) from Space Launch Complex 4 here at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. DART took to the skies atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, set to travel millions of miles out to smash into an asteroid in a planetary defense test. 





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