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 (opens in new tab), including on impact day (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.
Related: NASA’s DART asteroid-impact mission explained in pictures
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. NASA has not yet shared a list of speakers, but the briefing will be available to watch on NASA TV and here at Space.com.
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 (opens in new tab). In addition to live coverage, NASA has also arranged for a separate video stream (opens in new tab) dedicated to sharing real-time images from the spacecraft’s DRACO camera as it approaches the asteroid.
The public also can watch live on agency social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Impact will occur at 7:14 p.m. EDT (2314 GMT).
In the days surrounding the impact, you can also catch live coverage of the mission on various NASA social media accounts:
- Twitter: @NASA (opens in new tab), @NASASolarSystem (opens in new tab), @AsteroidWatch (opens in new tab), @JHUAPL (opens in new tab)
- Facebook: NASA (opens in new tab), NASA Solar System Exploration (opens in new tab), Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (opens in new tab)
- Instagram: @NASA (opens in new tab), @NASASolarSystem (opens in new tab), @JohnsHopkinsAPL (opens in new tab)
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).
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.