NASA Successfully Launches DART Mission to Test Asteroid Deflection

NASA Successfully Launches DART Mission to Test Asteroid Deflection

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission launched November 24, 2021 at 1:21 a.m. EST on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, the United States. At 2:17 a.m. EST, DART separated from the second stage of the rocket. Minutes later, mission operators received the first spacecraft telemetry data and started the process of orienting the spacecraft to a safe position for deploying its solar arrays. About two hours later, the spacecraft completed the successful unfurling of its two, 8.5-m- (28-foot) long, roll-out solar arrays. DART’s single instrument, the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO), will turn on a week from now and provide first images from the spacecraft. DART will continue to travel just outside …
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