NASA just shot a ‘dart’ into space, well almost! The mission – The Double Asteroid Redirection Test – is part of NASA’s planetary defence system. If successful, it can help the Earth in averting any future asteroid disasters. At a speed of 15,000 mph, DART is on course of smashing into a distant asteroid identified as Dimorphos. It’s the reel to the real version of Armageddon! Elon Musk’s SpaceX has also played a crucial role in the launch. The liftoff, which took place at the Space Launch Complex at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, saw the SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying DART into the space. Both NASA and SpaceX have shared stunning visuals and video of the liftoff.
Launch of the @SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the DART spacecraft – starting a nearly one-year journey to crash into a distant asteroid as a test! Keep checking back for more images! #DARTMission #PlanetaryDefense More: https://t.co/SNUSFf9Ukq pic.twitter.com/qJmffF2wIo
— NASA HQ PHOTO (@nasahqphoto) November 24, 2021
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 24, 2021
But this cosmic head-on collision won’t take place just yet. NASA’s DART would orbit the Sun for a year to come directly into the path of the asteroid. If the trajectory of the DART goes as per the calculations, DART would smash into football-sized Dimorphos sometime in September or October next year. Scientists at NASA are confident that the success of the DART mission would help the achieve the new arsenal in this space age. It would mean that any menacing asteroid heading towards the Earth can be either destroyed or redirected. There are onboard cameras installed on the DART mission that would relay the impact of the collision in real-time.