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NASA launches spacecraft designed to deflect an asteroid from hitting Earth

CA, 24 Nov 2021
NASA's test mission to demonstrate the world's first planetary defence system, designed to deflect an asteroid from a potential doomsday collision with Earth, lifted off early Wednesday morning from Vandenberg U.S. Space Force Base near Los Angeles.

The DART payload is about the size of a vending machine and was released from the booster a few minutes after launch to begin its 10-month journey into space.

The mission's success relies on the spacecraft crashing into an asteroid. The goal is for the DART to alter an asteroid's trajectory with sheer kinetic force, plowing into it at high speed to nudge the space boulder off course just enough to keep it out of Earth's way. The asteroid it is set to hit poses no threat to Earth, but is being targeted for the test run.

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