The first planetary defense mission takes to the skies early Wednesday, when the Nationwide Aeronautics and Region Administration launches a rental probe designed to deflect a miles away asteroid in a take a look at of know-how that would possibly well maybe one day save the sector.

The $324 million Double Asteroid Redirection Check, or DART, mission—a practice stir for future efforts to offer protection to Earth from collisions with asteroids and comets—is scheduled to initiate aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 1: 21 a.m. EST from Vandenberg Region Power Unsuitable in California. Next fall, after a stir of more than six million miles, the probe will crash at 15,000 miles an hour into Dimorphos, a little moonlet that orbits a higher asteroid known as Didymos.

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