Elon Musk's space company will provide launch services for DART.
NASA has a plan to defend Earth from an incoming asteroid — and it’s now tapped SpaceX to help carry it out.
On Friday, NASA announced that it had selected Elon Musk’s SpaceX to provide launch services for its $69 million Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission — adding to the ever-growing list of collaborations between the two entities.
NASA’s DART mission will launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket in California in June 2021. The goal is to smash a satellite into the Didymos asteroid’s small moon in October 2022.
If all goes according to plan, the collision will change the asteroid’s motion, and NASA will be able to use what it learns from the mission to redirect a future asteroid on track to impact Earth, saving humanity from potential extinction à la the dinosaurs.
READ MORE: SpaceX will assist NASA’s first-ever mission to redirect an asteroid [Engadget]
More on NASA’s DART mission: NASA Scientist: Asteroid Deflection Mission Not Like “Armageddon”