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September 26, 2022

Chairman Beyer Statement on NASA DART Mission

(Washington, DC)—Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, successfully carried out the first-ever planetary defense test mission. The Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) mission demonstrated kinetic impactor technology to affect the asteroid Dimorphos’s speed and trajectory. Dimorphos is part of the double-asteroid system Didymos.   

“I’m excited about DART’s historic success today,” said Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chair Don Beyer (D-VA).  “This mission represents the forward-thinking of NASA and its partners on a key capability for our planetary defense. While the likelihood of an asteroid impact to Earth is low, the potential damage of an impact could be devastating. DART’s successful test gives us a demonstrated technique for how we might nudge off course a potentially hazardous asteroid headed for Earth. I look forward to learning more about the results of DART’s pioneering test.”

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