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NASA to slam spacecraft into an asteroid in mission to avoid future Armageddon

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Mehr Ali Altaf
Mehr Ali Altafhttps://www.khaama.com
Mehr Ali is a young bilingual journalist from Afghanistan working for the English language version of Khaama Press online. His main responsibility include researching and writing news reports for the sports, tech and entertainment sections.

SpaceX is targeting Tuesday, November 23 for Falcon 9’s launch of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission to an interplanetary transfer orbit from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

 The instantaneous launch window is at 10:21 p.m. PST and a backup opportunity is available on Wednesday, November 24 at 10:20 p.m. PST.

“This will be the third flight for this Falcon 9’s first stage booster, which previously supported the launch of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and a Starlink mission. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will land on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship, which will be located in the Pacific Ocean”, said SpaceX.

DART is humanity’s first planetary defense test mission to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future.

DART is aiming for the moonlet, which is about as big as a football stadium. It’s set to reach its target, 6.8 million miles from Earth, in September 2022.

“We’re going to hit it hard, but we’re hitting it with a very small vehicle,” Ed Reynolds, the DART project manager at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, said in a press conference on Monday.

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