NASA and Elon Musk team up for mission to CRASH into asteroid

SpaceX will assist NASA's first-ever mission to redirect an asteroid

SpaceX will assist NASA's first-ever mission to redirect an asteroid

The mission costs $69 million.

NASA revealed on Friday that it had selected SpaceX to provide the launch services for the upcoming DART mission.

The SpaceX launch delivered a Saudi Arabian satellite into space and for the first time ever all three Falcon Heavy rocket boosters returned to Earth after the launch. The mission will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket in 2021.

NASA today awarded SpaceX a $69 million contract to redirect an asteroid off its intended path.

SpaceX's collaboration with NASA can be the first step towards a new relationship with NASA evolving beyond the resupply missions to the ISS.

There are some disasters the world just isn't prepared for, and one of those is an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.

The best way to prepare for deflecting an asteroid is to do a test run, which is exactly what NASA has planned for its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).

DART is a project developed in the applied physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University in the framework of NASA on planetary defense. Using solar electric propulsion, SpaceX is hoping it and DART can intercept the asteroid Didymos' small moon in October 2022.

DART is going to be the first NASA mission to demonstrate the kinetic impact technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space. The target in question is called Didymos B, and it's the smaller asteroid of the two Didymos asteroids.

After launching from California's Vandenberg Air Force base atop a Falcon 9 rocket in 2021, the DART craft is expected to reach the object Didymos in October 2022, when it's 11 million kilometers (6.8 million miles) from Earth.

DART will then collide with the small moonlet orbiting Didymos at the speed of 6 kilometers per second, with the goal of changing the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of 1 percent, enough for the telescopes on Earth to record the event.

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