NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) successfully launched on Wednesday (Nov. 24) 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. This is officially the first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards.
The goal is for DART to show that a spacecraft has the ability to autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it, or in scientific terms, a method of deflection called kinetic impact. This data will then provide important data to help better prepare for an asteroid that could potentially pose an impact hazard to Earth. LICIACube, a CubeSat riding with DART and provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), is also going to be released prior to DART’s impact to capture images of the impact as well as the resulting cloud of ejected matter.
- Perfect entry-level telescope: The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ is an easy-to-use and powerful telescope. The PowerSeeker series is designed to give the new telescope user the perfect combination of quality, value, features, and power
- Manual German equatorial mount: Navigate the sky with our Newtonian Reflector telescope. It features a German Equatorial mount with a slow-motion altitude rod for smooth and accurate pointing. Adjust rod to desired position, then easily secure by tightening cross knob
- Compact and portable: This telescope for adults and kids to be used together is compact, lightweight, and portable. Take the telescope to your favorite campsite or dark sky observing site, or simply the backyard. Optical Coatings: Aluminum
- Multiple accessories: The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope comes with 2 eyepieces (20mm and 4mm), plus a 3x Barlow lens to triple the power of each. Users can also download BONUS Starry Night Astronomy Software Package
- Unbeatable and customer support: Buy with confidence from the telescope brand, based in California since 1960. You’ll also receive a 2-year and unlimited access to technical support from our team of US-based experts
At its core, DART is a mission of preparedness, and it is also a mission of unity. This international collaboration involves DART, ASI’s LICIACube, and ESA’s Hera investigations and science teams, which will follow up on this groundbreaking space mission,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.