DART Mission Patch
Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission. Approximately 4" by 3 3/4"
The world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards, launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on November 24, 2021.
DART’s one-way trip is to the Didymos asteroid system, which comprises a pair of asteroids. DART’s target is the moonlet, Dimorphos, which is approximately 530 feet (160 meters) in diameter. The moonlet orbits Didymos, which is approximately 2,560 feet (780 meters) in diameter.
DART will show that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it – a method of deflection called kinetic impact. The test will provide important data to help better prepare for an asteroid that might pose an impact hazard to Earth, should one ever be discovered.
This patch designed by Tim Gagnon beautifully illustrates the mission.