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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

SpaceX will host an evening light show for SoCal residents on Tuesday, November 23

Southland residents can get an impressive pre-holiday aerial light show Tuesday night, November 23, when SpaceX plans to launch NASA’s planet-defense mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, along California’s central coast. tries.

Depending on visibility, night-time rockets launched from Vandenberg can often create brightly lit spectacles that can be seen over much of Southern California. SpaceX’s launch could be particularly impressive, as the Hawthorne Aerospace Company brings the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket back to Earth after separating from the spacecraft being sent into space.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch at 10:21 p.m. Tuesday, the start of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirect Test, or DART, mission.

The mission, sounding like the plot of a Hollywood movie, would intentionally crash a spacecraft into an asteroid in order to determine whether such an effort could successfully change the asteroid’s course.

The idea is to test the technology to see if it can redirect a future asteroid that may be on a collision course with Earth.

According to NASA’s mission website, “While any known asteroid larger than 140 meters in size does not have a significant chance of hitting Earth for the next 100 years,” as of October 2021, only 40% of those asteroids have been found. .

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