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SoCal: How To Catch A Glimpse Of Tonight's SpaceX Launch

DART mission
A schematic of the DART mission shows the impact on the moonlet of asteroid (65803) Didymos.
(NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab)
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A SpaceX rocket is scheduled to blast off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County tonight at 10:20 p.m. PST.

The rocket’s goal is to change the motion of an asteroid, a technique that could someday be used to protect Earth from threatening space debris.

If the skies are clear overhead, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the light show the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will display. Be ready to look up toward the west-northwest portion of the sky at around 10:20 p.m.

You can also watch a live broadcast of the launch on NASA’s YouTube channel:

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The aim of tonight’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is to see whether crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course.

The spacecraft will travel in space for 10 months until it crashes into the targeted asteroid at 15,000 miles per hour. The rocket will have travelled more than six million miles from Earth.

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