SpaceX launches NASA spacecraft into asteroid collision

by time news

Under the auspices of the US National Aerospace Agency (NASA), the first ever project to change the trajectory of asteroids was launched. About this agency reported on your Twitter account.

Late Tuesday night (at 9:21 am on Wednesday Moscow time) from the Vandenberg base of the US Air Force in California, a 610-kg DART spacecraft was launched into space. 55 minutes after the start of the flight, the spacecraft separated from the second stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and over the next 10 months will approach a pair of near-Earth asteroids – 780-meter Didyme and its 160-meter satellite Dimorf.

During the mission, it is planned to collide the probe with Dimorph at speeds above 24,000 km / h and thus try to change the trajectory of the asteroid. The goal of the project is to test whether it will be possible in this way to protect the Earth from similar celestial bodies that threaten it with a collision. The asteroid itself does not pose a threat to the Earth.

The first of its kind mission, which simulates the protection of the Earth from an asteroid impact, will cost NASA $ 330 million, of which $ 69 million was the cost of the contract with SpaceX, which won it in 2019. For the company itself, this is the first launch to another celestial body outside of orbit Earth.

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