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The US space agency, NASA, launched a satellite on Wednesday that will be directed directly at an asteroid to adjust its course, in the first mission of its kind.
The defense probe, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, took off at 10:22 pm local time (0622 GMT) from Vandenberg Station in California.
“Asteroid Demorphos: We’re Coming To You,” NASA wrote in a tweet.
The satellite, which NASA says is about the size of a vending machine, is set to collide with the asteroid Demorphos in October, during the mission called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test.
The asteroid Demorphos, which has a diameter of about 160 meters, does not represent a danger to Earth, according to NASA statistics, and the mission aims to ensure that even after the collision, there will be no danger to the planet.
The European Space Agency’s Hera mission, scheduled to launch in 2024, is scheduled to study the collision in greater detail.
NASA hopes to perform the mission, which costs about 330 million dollars, to learn how to protect Earth from any approaching asteroids.
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