DART’s demise is finally upon us, as NASA’s spacecraft is on a collision course with the tiny asteroid Dimorphos. This is how you can see this experiment of great importance to deflect an asteroid.
Short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, the dart mission it is the first test of kinetic impact technology as a means of deflecting asteroids that could be headed for Earth. Although Didymos doesn’t want to harm our planet, the epic crash could one day protect our planet from an Earth-bound asteroid. A lot hinges on this astronomical encounter, and here’s how you can watch the action live.
The DART spacecraft is scheduled to impact its target asteroid on Monday at 7:14 pm ET. NASA will broadcast the event live at the space agency Youtube channelthe nasa appand the agency website. Or you can stay here and tune in to NASA’s broadcast via the stream below.
Live coverage of the mission will begin at 6 pm ET and will feature audio from NASA mission control, live commentary, as well as images transmitted by the high-resolution camera on board the spacecraft, DRACO (Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation).
Excitingly, NASA is also providing a silent live broadcast of DRACO that is scheduled to begin at 5 pm ET on NASA media channel. DRACO will keep rolling until it finally crashes into Dimorphos, transmitting one image per second to ground controllers on Earth. You can also tune in to DRACO via the live stream below.
DART is heading toward the asteroid at speeds reaching 14,000 miles per hour (22,530 kilometers per hour). There may be a slight delay between these images and what happens in the control room, as it takes about eight seconds for the images to appear on the screen after they have been received and processed by mission control, NASA officials said. to journalists during a press conference. Thursday. So even if mission control declares “impact” or “loss of signal,” it may take a few seconds for it to show up on NASA coverage.. And by “seeing it happen” we assume that it will be the sudden appearance of a blank screen, which means the destruction of the spaceship.
DART is NASA’s first planetary defense test mission. Their target is a small asteroid known as Dimorphos, a mini-moon orbiting a slightly larger asteroid called Didymos. The 1,376-pound DART probe will crash into Dimorphos in an attempt to alter its orbit around its larger counterpart. The purpose of the test is to experiment with kinetic impact technology as a means of deflecting asteroids that might be headed toward Earth.
NASA keeps a close eye 28,000 nearby asteroids. Although none of those asteroids currently pose a threat to Earth, we need a plan in case a massive space rock heads for our planet in the future. Didymos and his little companion Dimorphos do not pose a threat to Earth, and the test will not make the system a threat to our planet. The pair is approximately 7 million miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth.
NASA will use ground-based telescopes to monitor Dimorphos’s orbital path after being hit by the spacecraft and also to measure the physical effects of the impact itself. On the scene, Europe LICIACube will monitor the event with its two onboard cameras, LUKE and LEIA. The Hubble Space Telescope, the Webb Space Telescope, and a camera aboard the Lucy spacecraft also attempt to monitor the event.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is planning a follow upto the mission to the pair of space rocks; The space agency plans to launch its hera mission in 2024, which will meet with Didymos in 2026 to study the impact crater left by DART and any other changes made to the asteroid.
For now, the DART vantage point is expected to provide an impressive view of Dimorphos as it heads straight for the asteroid. It will be a sad end for the spacecraft, but data from the mission could eventually yield the tools needed to deflect a legitimately dangerous asteroid.
Additional reporting by George Dvorsky.
Plus: NASA’s DART Mission Will Really Wreck This Little Asteroid