2021-10-21

NASA’s dart asteroid redirection mission arrived at Vandenberg Air Force base

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5e4578ec048a3a3 - NASA's dart asteroid redirection mission arrived at Vandenberg Air Force base

Vandenberg is the last stop before dart goes into space. The spacecraft and a team of support personnel arrived in Vandenberg on Saturday, 2 October. As dart arrives at the launch site, the spacecraft will pass a series of tests and inspections, and add fuel to it in the next few weeks to prepare for launch. The launch will use SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and is planned for late November. Before being loaded into their custom shipping containers and shipped on semi trailers, team members conducted a pre shipment review to check that each part of the spacecraft was complete and ready for shipment. This has happened in mid September

this mission has been thoroughly tested on the ground in the past year and a half. At present, the team is conducting spacecraft launch operation drills at Vandenberg and APL mission operation centers in Maryland. When the mission drill is completed, dart will be ready to launch and start running in space

dart will be the first mission to test Planetary Defense, showing a deflection attempt of an asteroid called kinetic energy impact. The goal of this mission is an asteroid named dimorphos, which runs around a larger companion named Didymos. NASA has made it clear that neither the larger asteroid nor its small satellite poses a threat to the earth, but it provides an opportunity to collect data on asteroids that may pose a threat to the earth in the future