On Tuesday, November 23 at 10:21 p.m. PST, Falcon 9 launched NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission to an interplanetary transfer orbit from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. DART is humanity’s first planetary defense test mission to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future. This was SpaceX’s first inter-planetary mission.

This was the third flight for this Falcon 9’s first stage booster, which previously supported launch of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and a Starlink mission.