SpaceX

Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is the first-ever mission to demonstrate the capability to deflect an asteroid by colliding a spacecraft with it at high speed, a technique known as a kinetic impactor. DART is a planetary defense-driven test of one of the technologies for preventing the Earth impact of a hazardous asteroid: the kinetic impactor. DART's primary objective is to demonstrate a kinetic impact on a small asteroid. The binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos is the target for DART. While Didymos' primary body is approximately 800 meters across, its secondary body has a 150-meter size, which is more typical of the size of asteroids that could pose a more common hazard to Earth. The DART spacecraft will achieve the kinetic impact by deliberately crashing itself into the moonlet at a speed of approximately 6 km/s, with the aid of an onboard camera and sophisticated autonomous navigation software. The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of one percent, enough to be measured using telescopes on Earth.