Team Vandenberg Launches the NASA DART Mission
Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs
/ Published November 24, 2021
VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Team Vandenberg launched a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4 here today, Nov. 23, at 10:21 p.m. Pacific Time.
Col. Rob Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander, was the launch decision authority.
“It takes the entire team for a safe and successful launch,” said Long. “I congratulate NASA on achieving the first step in this program’s journey on its planetary defense test mission. We are proud to be a part of this team.”
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, the world’s first full-scale planetary defense test, into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base. True to its name, DART is a focused mission, proving that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it (called a kinetic impact) at roughly 4 miles per second (6 kilometers per second). Its target, which poses no threat to Earth, is the asteroid moonlet.