Home / News / World /  NASA to crash spacecraft on asteroid to divert its movement: Where to watch

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the world’s first mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards, will hit a target asteroid (which poses no threat to our planet) on 26 September.

This test 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. DART will provide important data to help better prepare for an asteroid that might pose an impact hazard to Earth, should one ever be discovered, NASA said about the mission in its website. 

The space agency will be showcasing the mission through a televised event from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. 

Here's how to watch: 

Monday, Sept. 12

9 a.m. – NASA will host a hybrid media day at APL focused on the technology enabling the DART spacecraft to autonomously navigate to and impact its target asteroid. Participants include leaders from NASA and the DART mission team. In-person attendees will have an opportunity to tour the DART mission operations center at APL, located at 11100 Johns Hopkins Road in Laurel, Maryland.

Media interested in participating must RSVP by completing this form no later than 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30. NASA’s media accreditation policy for on-site and virtual activities is available online.

Thursday, Sept. 22

3 p.m. – Media briefing at NASA Headquarters to preview DART’s final activities before its impact with Dimorphos. The media briefing will take place in the Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in the Mary W. Jackson building, 300 E. Street, SW in Washington and include senior leaders from NASA and APL.

Media interested in participating must RSVP by completing this form no later than 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Monday, Sept. 26 (DART Impact Day)

Media interested in covering the DART impact from APL must complete this form by 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2.

6 p.m. – Live coverage of DART’s impact with the asteroid Dimorphos will air on NASA TV and the agency’s website. The public also can watch live on agency social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

7:14 p.m. – DART’s kinetic impact with asteroid Dimorphos.

About DART mission:

66 million years ago, a giant asteroid impact on the Earth likely caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Currently no known asteroid poses an immediate threat. But if one day a large asteroid were to be discovered on a collision course with Earth, it might have to be deflected from its trajectory to prevent catastrophic consequences.

Last November, the DART space probe of the US space agency NASA was launched as a first full-scale experiment of such a manoeuvre: Its mission is to collide with an asteroid and to deflect it from its orbit, in order to provide valuable information for the development of such a planetary defense system.


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