NASA's asteroid-slamming spacecraft known as DART or Double Asteroid Redirect Test's launch via the SpaceX Falcon 9 is on track, the United States space agency confirmed.
The update on the asteroid-hitting spacecraft was revealed during the live coverage of the Landsat-9 launch.
NASA's Asteroid-Slamming DART Spacecraft Launch
As per WTSP, the NASA DART spacecraft is meant to prevent an impactful asteroid crash on Earth, which could possibly take thousands of lives.
The asteroid of concern goes by the name Didymos.
However, it is worth noting that it is still 11 million miles away from our home planet. As such, the 780 meters big rock is not yet an imminent threat for now.
Nevertheless, NASA still wants to be ahead of the hazardous asteroid and is already planning on how to target it before it becomes a threat to the Earth.
The US space agency is looking into slamming the asteroid with the DART spacecraft to deflect its direction away from Earth, preventing any dangerous crash to our home planet.
Although the target launch of the asteroid-hitting spacecraft is on Nov. 23, it will still take years before the DART reaches 11 million miles away from the location of the Didymos.
NASA plans to lift off the DART spacecraft in November via the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Omar Baez, senior launch director for the Launch Services Program of NASA, said during the post-launch conference of the Landsat-9.
Baez further noted other upcoming missions, such as the Atlas 5 with Lucy on Oct. 16, the Falcon 9 with IXPE onboard on Dec. 9, and the Atlas 5 carrying the GOES-T on Feb. 16.
NASA's Asteroid-Slamming Spacecraft Launch On Track
According to Teslarati, NASA, or National Aeronautics and Space Administration, confirmed the development of the DART spacecraft after the successful launch of the Landsat-9, the most powerful satellite of its kind.
What's more, NASA further revealed that the DART spacecraft has already arrived at the Vandenberg Space Force Base even if it is two months in advance of the Falcon 9 launch in November.
The target launch for the asteroid-hitting spacecraft was initially supposed to be in June 2021.
The original expected lift-off data was back when the space exploration firm of Elon Musk, SpaceX, won the NASA launch contract in April 2019, which was earlier worth $69 million but has been changed to $73 million later on.
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Written by Teejay Boris