How to watch NASA’s DART spacecraft crash into an asteroid

Impact expected at 7:14 p.m. Monday

This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, foreground right, and Italian Space Agency's (ASI) LICIACube, bottom right, at the Didymos system before impact with the asteroid Dimorphos, left. DART is expected to zero in on the asteroid Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, intent on slamming it head-on at 14,000 mph. The impact should be just enough to nudge the asteroid into a slightly tighter orbit around its companion space rock. (Steve Gribben/Johns Hopkins APL/NASA via AP) (Steve Gribben)

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.

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.

About the Author:

Katrina Scales joined News 6 as a TV producer in June 2021.