ORLANDO, Fla. – For the first time in history, NASA will attempt to intentionally smash a spacecraft into an asteroid Monday, and the public will have a front-row seat.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission, or DART, is meant to demonstrate NASA’s ability to deflect a hazardous asteroid or comet. The Dart spacecraft’s target, a harmless rock named Dimorphos, is currently orbiting a larger asteroid, Didymos, about 6.8 million miles away from Earth.
NASA says Dimorphos, nor its parent rock, are at risk of colliding with Earth. The spacecraft is designed to smash into Dimorphos head-on at 13,421 mph and alter the asteroid’s speed by 1% as it orbits Didymos.
While a 1% nudge seems small, NASA says this change would alter its orbital period.
Tonight, @NASA intentionally crashes their #DART spacecraft into a 160m asteroid, to nudge its orbit in a world-first test of #AsteroidDeflection🛰️↩️🪨— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) September 26, 2022
And yes, the live feed will be streaming down to watch on #NASATV & #ESAWebTV from midnight CEST!🔴📹👉https://t.co/3gn2kMXoXb pic.twitter.com/mjptlJBIla
The mission launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Nov. 23 2021.
How To See Dart Smash Into Dimorphos
According to NASA, the Dart spacecraft is equipped with a camera which will give viewers a piece of the action in almost real-time.
NASA will broadcast coverage starting at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26. Impact is scheduled for 7:14 p.m.
You can also watch coverage without commentary on NASA’s media channel by clicking here.
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