SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – The launch of a rare Southern California rocket on Tuesday night could create a dazzling light scene that is visible throughout the region. It can shape the history of mankind.
Hawthorne-based SpaceX was to launch NASA’s planetary defense mission from the Vandenberg space force base near Lombok near the central coast of California.
The mission is the first for humanity. It is called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which is designed to change the trajectory of the asteroid moon Dimorphos in the fall of 2022 at a speed of about 14,700 miles per hour.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was to be launched at 22:21 on Tuesday evening.
The mission is a test to find out if the asteroid in collision with the Earth can deviate.
“The collision will change the speed of the moon by one percent in its orbit around the main body, but it will change the orbit of the moon by a few minutes, which is enough to look at the Earth and measure it with telescopes.” NASA said.
Dimorphos և Didimos do not pose a threat to Earth և are targeted solely as a pilot mission redirect technology. The spacecraft was expected to strike about 11 million kilometers, or about 6.8 million miles, from Earth.
“Although no known asteroid larger than 140 meters has a significant chance of colliding with Earth in the next 100 years, as of October 2021, only about 40% of those asteroids have been found,” said the website of the NASA mission.
The launch will be broadcast live NASA YouTube Channel here.
Previous rocket launches from Vandenberg have created breathtaking light shows that are dazzling enough to stop traffic on the San Diego Highway.
SpaceX launches could be impressive as the company returns the first phase of its Falcon 9 rockets to Earth after splitting from a spacecraft launched into space.
If all goes according to plan, the DART spacecraft will hit Didimos in September 2022. The impact should be close enough for scientists to see the results with land-based telescopes.
City News Service և Patch Officer Paige Austin contributed to this report.