It's time to get ready to watch a spacecraft slamming into an asteroid.
You can watch all the action from NASA's Double Asteroid Redirect Mission (DART) live here at Space.com and on NASA TV, including on impact day today (Sept. 26). In the weeks leading up to the impact, you can also tune in to media briefings on the mission's goals and progress.
DART will slam into Dimorphos, the moonlet of a near-Earth asteroid called Didymos. If successful, the spacecraft will alter the path of Dimorphos in its orbit around Didymos; just how much Dimorphos' orbit changes will be confirmed in the months and years after impact.
The mission aims to test out planetary defense methods in a safe environment, as the activities pose no threats whatsoever to Earth. Here's how you can follow the action live.
Monday, Sept. 26: 5:30 pm ET - NASA DART Draco camera live views
NASA's DART asteroid impact webcasts on Sept. 26 begin in earnest with live images from the spacecraft's Draco imaging camera streaming live online.
The camera will broadcast live imagery as it comes in until impact, when it and the DART spacecraft will be destroyed.
Monday, Sept. 26: 6 pm ET - DART asteroid impact webcast
Live coverage of DART's impact will start at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT). You can see it live here at Space.com, on NASA TV and on the agency's website. In addition to live coverage, NASA has also arranged for a separate video stream dedicated to sharing real-time images from the spacecraft's DRACO camera as it approaches the asteroid.
In the days surrounding the impact, you can also catch live coverage of the mission on various NASA social media accounts:
- Twitter: @NASA, @NASASolarSystem, @AsteroidWatch, @JHUAPL
- Facebook: NASA, NASA Solar System Exploration, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
- Instagram: @NASA, @NASASolarSystem, @JohnsHopkinsAPL
Sept. 26: 8 pm ET - NASA DART asteroid impact briefing
At 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT), NASA will hold a press conference to review the impact by DART on the asteroid Dimorphos.
The briefing will include details on how the impact occurred and when the first images could be shared.
DART won't only be doing science on its own; about 10 days ahead of impact it will release a small cubesat called LICIACube, built by the Italian Space Agency. The cubesat will watch the impact in real time and send Earth images of the brand new crater.
The European Space Agency will launch a follow-up surveyor mission in 2024, called Hera. That spacecraft will study the two asteroids in greater detail, including checking up on the impact crater and measuring the physical structure and chemical composition of the double worlds.
Past event: Monday, Sept. 12: 9 am ET - NASA DART Media Day briefing
NASA plans to host a hybrid media day at the Applied Physics Laboratory "focused on the technology enabling the DART spacecraft to autonomously navigate to and impact its target asteroid." That event will kick off with a media teleconference about the DART mission, its goals and status.
NASA has not yet shared a list of speakers for the event, but you can watch live on NASA TV beginning at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT).
Past event: Tuesday, Sept. 22: 3 pm ET - NASA DART press conference
NASA will hold a media briefing at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) at NASA Headquarters in Washington to discuss DART's final activities before impact. The briefing will be available to watch on NASA TV and here at Space.com.
- Katherine Calvin, Chief Scientist and Senior Climate Advisor, NASA
- Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer, NASA
- Tom Statler, DART Program Scientist, NASA
- Edward Reynolds, DART Project Manager, Johns Hopkins APL
- Elena Adams, DART Mission Systems Engineer, Johns Hopkins APL
Tune in on Monday, Sept. 26, to see live coverage of NASA's DART asteroid impact starting at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT).
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace