The primary planetary protection mission takes to the skies early Wednesday, when the Nationwide Aeronautics and Area Administration launches an area probe designed to deflect a distant asteroid in a check of know-how that may at some point save the world.

The $324 million Double Asteroid Redirection Check, or DART, mission—a observe run for future efforts to guard Earth from collisions with asteroids and comets—is scheduled to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 1:21 a.m. EST from Vandenberg Area Drive Base in California. Subsequent fall, after a journey of greater than six million miles, the probe will crash at 15,000 miles an hour into Dimorphos, a tiny moonlet that orbits a bigger asteroid referred to as Didymos.

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