NASA’s DART mission to smack an asteroid launches this week. Here’s how to watch online.
NASA’s asteroid impact mission is set to launch, and you can watch the event and several science briefings live.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is scheduled to launch no earlier than 1:20 a.m. EST (0620 GMT) on Wednesday, Nov. 24 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
Live launch coverage will run on NASA Television, NASA’s YouTube, the NASA app and agency social media channels starting at 12:30 a.m. EST (0530 GMT). You’ll be able to watch all of the events on this page and Space.com’s homepage, courtesy of NASA.
DART has an ambitious mission to impact and redirect the path of an asteroid for the first time in history. It is expected to collide with an asteroid moonlet, Dimorphos, in fall 2022. Dimorphos orbits an asteroid called Didymos, which is close enough for scientists to see any effects using ground-based telescopes. A follow-up mission called Hera (by the European Space Agency) should visit the same system in 2026.
An illustration of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test,or DART, as it approaches its target moonlet around the asteroid Didymos. (Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL)
Before and during the mission, NASA has several activities for the public to take part. Members of the public can register to virtually attend the launch to access resources, watch videos and receive a virtual guest launch passport stamp.
The agency will have a virtual NASA Social on Facebook, where you can interact with NASA and DART team members and watch the launch. You can also take part in a brief Planetary Defenders campaign, where you can answer questions to earn a “planetary defender” certificate.
Additionally, you can follow the mission on social media using the hashtag #DARTMission. On Twitter, go to @NASA, @AsteroidWatch, @NASASocial and @NASA_LSP. On Facebook, go to NASA’s page here and NASA LSP. On Instagram, go to NASA’s page here.
NASA also has a series of live briefings that the public can watch and ask questions about on social media. Below is a listing of the briefings, their participants and public engagement opportunities.
Sun., Nov. 21: DART asteroid mission engineering briefing
4 p.m. EST (2100 GMT) – DART investigation and engineering briefing on NASA TV with the following participants. The public may ask questions on social media using #AskNASA.
Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in WashingtonTom Statler, DART program scientist, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division, NASA HeadquartersAndy Rivkin, DART investigation team lead, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics LaboratoryBetsy Congdon, DART mechanical systems engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics LaboratorySimone Pirrotta, Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging of Asteroids (LICIACube) project manager, Italian Space AgencyMon., Nov. 22: DART asteroid mission pre-launch briefing
7 p.m. EST (1200 GMT Tuesday, Nov. 23) – DART prelaunch news conference on NASA TV with the following participants. The public may ask questions on social media using #AskNASA.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, NASA HeadquartersLindley Johnson, planetary defense officer, NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, NASA HeadquartersEd Reynolds, DART project manager, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics LaboratoryOmar Baez, senior launch director, Launch Services Program, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in FloridaJulianna Scheiman, director for civil satellite missions, SpaceXCapt. Maximillian Rush, weather officer, Space Launch Delta 30, Vandenberg Space Force Base
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test,or DART, is moved into a shipping container for its trip to the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California for a launch on Nov. 24, 2021. (Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman)Tues., Nov. 23: DART asteroid mission Science Live
4 p.m. EST (2100 GMT) – NASA Science Live, with the following participants. This event will stream live on the agency’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. Members of the public can participate live by submitting questions in the comment section of the streams, or by using #AskNASA.
Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division at NASA HeadquartersNancy Chabot, DART coordination lead, John Hopkins University Applied Physics LaboratoryJoshua Ramirez Rodriguez, telecommunications subsystem integration and test lead engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics LaboratoryWed., Nov. 24: DART asteroid mission launch day
12:30 a.m. EST (0530 GMT) – NASA TV’s live launch coverage begins.
1:20 a.m. EST (10:20 p.m. PST on Nov. 23/0620 GMT) – Liftoff of the DART asteroid mission.
Space.com will carry each of these live events on our homepage. Join us Wednesday for the DART asteroid mission launch.