Space

NASA launch Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission @ 1:20 am ET

NASA launch Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission @ 1:20 am ET

Launching Asteroid Didymos

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is set to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 1:20 a.m. EST (0620 GMT) toward the asteroid Didymos. If everything goes well, it will strike a small moonlet orbiting the asteroid next year to test equipment designed to safeguard Earth from asteroids.

The agency’s first planetary defense test mission, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, will be covered by NASA during the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities (DART). The project will investigate whether smashing a spacecraft with an asteroid to change its direction is a viable option. The asteroid under track by DART is not a threat to Earth.

While traveling at approximate 15,000 miles per hour speed, the spacecraft is carefully to manoeuvre itself to crash with an asteroid (24,000 kilometers / hour). The asteroid moonlet Dimorphos, which circles a bigger asteroid named Didymos, is its target. DART will collide with Dimorphos in the Didymos binary asteroid system in the fall of 2022, changing its orbit. The Didymos system is an excellent candidate for DART since it offers no direct threat to Earth and allows scientists to track Dimorphos’ orbit with ground-based telescopes.

How is the Public Participation 

Members of the public can register to attend the launch, virtually. DART’s virtual guest program includes tailored launch information, a behind-the-scenes look at the project, and the chance to get a virtual guest launch passport stamp from NASA.

 

About Virtual NASA Social

We’re pleased to invite the public to attend our virtual NASA Social for the #DARTMission on Facebook as we conclude launch preparations. Keep up with the latest mission operations, chat with NASA and DART team members in real-time, and witness the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch that will propel DART to its final destination.

As a project of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has been tasked with managing the DART mission for the agency’s Planetary Missions Program Office. NASA’s Launch Services Program, situated at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is in charge of the launch. The DART launch will be carried out by SpaceX.

When the crew is on duty, live video from the International Space Station shows internal views, as well as Earth views at other times. The footage is complemented by audio of the crew’s and Mission Control’s interactions. Only when the space station is in communication with the ground is this footage available. Viewers will see a blue screen when there is a loss of signal.

The station sees a sunrise or sunset every 45 minutes because it orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes. External camera video may appear black when the station is dark, but it can occasionally provide amazing views of lightning or city lights below.

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