Science

NASA’s DART mission to hit an asteroid launches this week. Here’s how to watch online.

NASA’s asteroid impact mission is scheduled for launch, and you can watch the event and several live science briefings.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is scheduled to launch no earlier than 1:20 a.m. EST (0620 GMT) on Wednesday, November 24 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Live launch coverage will air on NASA Television, NASA YouTube, the NASA app, and the agency’s social media channels beginning at 12:30 am EST (0530 GMT). You can see all the events on this page and on the Space.com home page, 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 moon, Dimorphos, in the fall of 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 (from the European Space Agency) should visit the same system in 2026.

Related: NASA’s DART Will Crash Into An Asteroid, But Don’t Worry. The Earth is not at risk.

An illustration of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, as it approaches its target moon around the asteroid Didymos. (Image credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins APL)

Before and during the mission, NASA has several activities for the public to participate. Members of the public can register to attend the virtual launch to access resources, view videos, and receive a virtual guest launch passport stamp.

The agency will have a virtual NASA Social on Facebook, where you can interact with members of the NASA and DART team and watch the launch. You can also participate in a short Planetary Defender campaign, where you can answer questions to earn a “Planetary Defender” certificate.

Also, 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 the NASA page here and NASA LSP. On Instagram, go to the NASA page here.

NASA also has a series of live briefings that the public can view and ask questions on social media. Below is a list of the information sessions, their participants, and opportunities for public participation.

Sunday, November 21 – DART Asteroid Mission Engineering Briefing

4 pm EST (2100 GMT) – DART Engineering and Research Briefing on NASA TV with the following participants. The public can ask questions on social media using #AskNASA.

  • Lori Glaze, Director of the Planetary Sciences Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • Tom Statler, DART Program Scientist, Division of Planetary Sciences, NASA Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Andy Rivkin, DART Research Team Leader, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Betsy Congdon, DART Mechanical Systems Engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Simone Pirrotta, director of the Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging of Asteroids (LICIACube) project, Italian Space Agency

Monday, November 22: pre-launch briefing for the DART asteroid mission

7pm EST (1200 GMT Tuesday, November 23): DART pre-launch press conference on NASA TV with the following participants. The public can ask questions on social media using #AskNASA.

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator, NASA Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer, NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office, NASA Headquarters
  • Ed Reynolds, DART Project Director, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Omar Baez, Senior Launch Director, Launch Services Program, NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida
  • Julianna Scheiman, Director of Civil Satellite Missions, SpaceX
  • Captain 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 journey to Vandenberg Space Force Base in California for launch on November 24, 2021. (Image credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins APL / Ed Whitman)

Tuesday, November 23: DART Science Live Asteroid Mission

4 pm EST (2100 GMT) – NASA Science Live, with the following participants. This event will be broadcast live on the agency’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. Members of the public can participate live by submitting questions in the comments section of the broadcasts or using #AskNASA.

  • Lori Glaze, Director of the Planetary Sciences Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters
  • Nancy Chabot, DART Coordination Lead, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Joshua Ramirez Rodriguez, Lead Telecommunications Subsystem Integration and Test Engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

Wednesday, November 24: Launch Day of the DART Asteroid Mission

12:30 am EST (0530 GMT): NASA TV live launch coverage begins.

1:20 am EST (10:20 pm PST on November 23 at 20:00 GMT): Liftoff of the DART asteroid mission.

Space.com will bring each of these events live on our home page. Join us Wednesday for the launch of the DART asteroid mission.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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