NASA’s DART will boost Earth’s planetary defense
NASA is known to livestream key moments of its big missions — it did so for the first flight of its Ingenuity Mars helicopter, and it will do the same for the upcoming launch of its moon-bound Artemis I mission, currently slated for Monday, August 29.
In anticipation of the impact of the DART spacecraft, NASA has invited press members to attend a series of events, including one at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. APL built and now manages the DART spacecraft for NASA.
If all goes to plan, the space agency says the DART mission will “show a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it to change the asteroid’s motion in a way that can be measured using ground-based telescopes.” The mission will provide “important data to help better prepare for an asteroid that might pose an impact hazard to Earth, should one ever be discovered.”
The DART spacecraft launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 1:21 a.m. ET on November 24 from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Roughly a month later, the DART spacecraft sent back its first images from space.
How to watch the DART impact event in September
NASA says live coverage of DART’s impact event will start at 6 p.m. EDT on September 26. It will air on NASA TV, live streamed 24 hours a day on NASA’s YouTube channel. We will also be sure to provide live updates here at IE before and after the impact.