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NASA launches test mission of asteroid-deflecting spacecraft

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Reuters

By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -A spacecraft that must ultimately crash to succeed was launched late on Tuesday from California on a NASA mission to demonstrate the world’s first planetary defense system, designed to deflect an asteroid from a potential doomsday collision with Earth. The DART spacecraft soared into the night sky at 10:21 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday (1:21 a.m. Eastern/0621 GMT Wednesday) from Vandenberg U.S. Space Force Base, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles, carried aboard a SpaceX-owned Falcon 9 rocket. The launch was shown live on NASA TV. The DART payload, a…

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