NASA’s DART Crash: How to Watch Spacecraft Collide With Deep Space Asteroid


NASA’s DART spacecraft is not lengthy for this world — and it is going out with a bang.

After launching atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 on Nov. 24, 2021, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test probe has its sights firmly locked on the asteroid Didymos and its tiny companion rock, Dimorphos. On Sept. 26, DART will careen into Dimorphos at about 14,000 miles per hour. You can watch alongside reside, and we have all the small print right here. 

First, we must always reiterate there is not any should be alarmed. This asteroid pair poses no menace to Earth. The mission is designed as a take a look at run for planetary protection with the intention of proving {that a} deep house collision can alter the orbit of an area rock. The rigorously organized demise dive will destroy the DART and, if all goes to plan, alter the orbit of Dimorphos round its father or mother Didymos ever so barely. 

In latest weeks, the workforce from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory have been assessing the asteroid pair from a distance, ensuring we’ve a agency understanding of the asteroids’ orbits. Once DART has been destroyed, ground-based house telescopes will consider Didymos and Dimorphos to see simply how a lot the orbit has modified. 

The $308 million spacecraft’s lone instrument is the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO) and it is going to be switched on for remaining dive, taking {a photograph} each second. Another tiny satellite tv for pc, which snuck out of DART on the best way to its goal, may also be watching. 

About three minutes or so after the collision, the shoebox-size dice (generally known as the Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging Asteroids) will take high-res images of the crash web site and the injury accomplished to the 525-foot asteroid. Another mission, scheduled to launch in 2024, may also rendezvous with Didymos someday in 2026. 

But that is for later, for now, this is how one can see DART’s demise.

How to look at NASA’s DART protection

NASA’s DART demise is primetime viewing this Monday, occurring just some hours earlier than the massive Monday Night Football matchup between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. 

The spacecraft will collide with Dimorphos at 4:14 p.m. PT / 7:14 p.m. ET on Sept. 26. Live protection is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET through NASA TV. 

Our YouTube channel, CNET Highlights, can have two streams. The principal livestream and a feed from the spacecraft’s DRACO digicam. NASA notes that the feed will largely be black as soon as it switches on, however because the spacecraft approaches, the asteroid pair will come into sight. It ought to be fairly thrilling.

Here’s how that point interprets to totally different zones:

  • US: Sep. 26, 4:14 p.m. PT / Sep. 26, 7:14 p.m. ET.
  • Brazil: Sep. 26 , 8:14 p.m. (Federal District).
  • UK: Sep. 26, 11:14 p.m.
  • South Africa: Sep. 27, 1:14 a.m.
  • Russia: Sep. 27, 2:14 a.m. (Moscow).
  • United Arab Emirates: Sep. 27, 3:14 a.m. 
  • India: Sep. 27, 4:44 a.m.
  • China: Sep. 27, 7:14 a.m.
  • Japan: Sep. 27, 8:14 a.m.
  • Australia: Sep. 27, 9:14 a.m. AEST.

Sounds superior! Where can I discover out extra about DART?

We’re glad you requested.

When DART launched again in November 2021, Monisha Ravisetti from CNET Science put collectively this helpful little explainer concerning the mission and its objectives. The workforce at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory additionally has a ton of sources concerning the mission, together with helpful interactives and the newest updates. 

Make certain to examine again right here for the livestream hyperlinks nearer to launch and take a look at CNET Science for extra space tales. 

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