SpaceX launches DART spacecraft

24. 11. 2021 0 By Space Seeker

SpaceX has launched NASA’s DART (Double Asteroid Redirect Test) mission onboard Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on November 23rd at 10:21 Pacific Time (6:21 UTC on November 24th). This Falcon 9 first stage B1063 launched for the third time and landed successfully on Of Course I Still Love You droneship. The second stage placed itself and DART into a 200×300 km 64.7-degree inclined parking orbit and after a short coast period, the second stage engine reignited to send DART onto an escape trajectory away from the Earth. Spacecraft was released at about T+55 minutes.

DART will show that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it – a method of deflection called kinetic impact. It will intercept the asteroid Didymos and its moon Dimorphos 10 months from now. 

Photo by SpaceX
Photo by NASA