NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards, launched Wednesday at 1:21 a.m. EST on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Just one part of NASA’s larger planetary defense strategy, DART – built and managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland – will impact a known asteroid