DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact. This method will have DART deliberately collide with a target asteroid—which poses no threat to Earth— in order to change its speed and path. DART’s target is the binary, near-Earth asteroid system Didymos, composed of the roughly 780-meter (2,560-foot) -diameter “Didymos” and the smaller, approximately 160-meter (530-foot)-size “Dimorphos,” which orbits Didymos. DART will impact Dimorphos to change its orbit within the binary system, and the DART Investigation Team will compare the results of DART’s kinetic impact with Dimorphos to highly detailed computer simulations of kinetic impacts on asteroids. Doing so will evaluate the effectiveness of this mitigation approach and assess how best to apply it to future planetary defense scenarios, as well as how accurate the computer simulations are and how well they reflect the behavior of a real asteroid.

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards, launched on 23 November 2021 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.

Get informed: https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/dart/dart-news