When and how to see the impact of NASA’s DART spacecraft against an asteroid

NASA is about to make history with the DART mission, the first planetary defense attempt that will consist of intentionally crashing a 550kg spacecraft into a 160m diameter asteroid called Dimorphos.

It will be a time to test the technology that will be used if humanity ever needs to fend off a giant space rock headed for Earth.

DART, launched into space in November 2021, is a pioneering NASA mission that aims to crash into Dimorphos to make change the trip you take around Didymos an asteroid 780 meters in diameter.

The spacecraft will head toward the space rock at a speed of 6.6 kilometers per second, powered by its 8.5-meter-long solar panels.

Following the impact, scientists hope that the speed at which Dimorphos travels will change enough to be distinguished from ground-based telescopes.

According to NASA, the kinetic impact of the DART spacecraft with the asteroid Dimorphos is scheduled for this Monday, September 26, at 23.14 UTC. It will be the ideal date because the space rock will be closer to Earth, just 11 kilometers away.

The collision will be recorded by a camera inside the ship called DRACO (Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation), which will relay the latest images from the mission to engineers operating it at NASA’s Johns Hopkis Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).

The development of the DART mission will be broadcast live through official NASA channels from 22:00 UTC. These will be the corresponding schedules for each country:

However, if you want to see directly everything that the DRACO camera films long before the collision, you must connect half an hour in advance through this link.