NASA’s asteroid impact mission is about to begin, and you can watch the event and several science briefings live.
The Dual Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is scheduled to launch no earlier than 1:20 a.m. EST (6:20 a.m. GMT) on Wednesday, November 24 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
Live coverage of the launch will air on NASA Television, NASA’s YouTube, the NASA app and agency social media channels starting at 12:30 a.m. EST (05:30 GMT). You will be able to watch all the events on this page and on the Space.com home page, courtesy of NASA.
DART’s ambitious mission is to impact and redirect the trajectory of an asteroid for the first time in history. It is expected to collide with a lunar asteroid, Dimorphos, in the fall of 2022. Dimorphos orbits an asteroid called Didymos, which is close enough that scientists can see effects using telescopes on the ground. A monitoring mission dubbed Hera (by the European Space Agency) is expected to visit the same system in 2026.
Related: NASA’s DART is going to crash into an asteroid, but don’t worry. Earth is not in danger.
Before and during the mission, NASA offers several activities to the public. Members of the public can register to attend the launch virtually, access resources, watch videos and receive a virtual guest launch passport stamp.
The agency will have a NASA virtual social network on Facebook, where you can interact with NASA and DART team members and watch the launch. You can also participate in a short 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, visit the NASA here and NASA LSP page. On Instagram, visit the NASA page here.
NASA also offers a series of live briefings that the public can watch and ask questions on social media. Below is a list of the information sessions, their participants, and public engagement opportunities.
Sunday, November 21: technical briefing of the DART mission on asteroids
4 p.m. EST (2100 GMT) – DART survey and technical 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 the NASA Science Missions Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington
- Tom Statler, DART Program Scientist, Planetary Sciences Division, NASA Science Missions Directorate, NASA Headquarters
- Andy Rivkin, DART Investigative Team Leader, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
- Betsy Congdon, DART Mechanical Systems Engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
- Simone Pirrotta, Project Manager Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging of Asteroids (LICIACube), Italian Space Agency
Monday, November 22: pre-launch briefing for the DART mission on the asteroid
7 p.m. EST (1200 GMT Tuesday, November 23) – DART pre-launch press conference on NASA TV with the following attendees. 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 Manager, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
- Omar Baez, Senior Launch Director, Launch Services Program, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida
- Julianna Scheiman, Director of Civilian Satellite Missions, SpaceX
- Captain Maximillian Rush, Meteorological Officer, Space Launch Delta 30, Vandenberg Space Force Base
Tuesday 23 November: DART mission on the asteroid Science Live
4 p.m. 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 feeds, or by using #AskNASA.
- Lori Glaze, Director of the Planetary Sciences Division of the NASA Science Missions Directorate at NASA Headquarters
- Nancy Chabot, Head of DART Coordination, John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
- Joshua Ramirez Rodriguez, Senior Telecommunications Subsystem Integration and Testing Engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Wednesday, November 24: DART asteroid mission launch day
12:30 a.m. EST (5:30 a.m. GMT) – Beginning of live coverage of the NASA TV launch.
1:20 am EST (10:20 pm PST November 23/0620 GMT) – Take off of the DART asteroid mission.
Space.com will be broadcasting each of these events live on our homepage. Join us on Wednesday for the launch of the DART asteroid mission.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.