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NASA launches DART probe towards asteroid

Test run for a planetary defense system

VANDENBERG, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - SpaceX launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) rocket on Wednesday morning, which will reach its destination in ten months and will not be returning to Earth.

This rocket's goal is to redirect the path of an asteroid as part of a defense mission, although, this is merely a test and the asteroid is not a threat.

"It may be the way to save planet Earth if there's ever an inbound big asteroid that could really challenge our existence as a planet," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

Instead of obliterating the asteroid, the DART probe will only changing its direction by what's called "kinetic deflection."

"If it's successful, then if we had a real inbound killer asteroid, we could do that with it, and it would miss us," continued Nelson.

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Marcos Icahuate

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Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez joined the KSWT team as anchor/producer in October 2020. You can catch her on 13 On Your Side at 4:00pm.

Reach out to Mercedes at mercedes.martinez@kecytv.com.

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