NASA to Stream DART Planetary Defence System Trial

The DART live event will be available on multiple digital channels and broadcasted via news-portals.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be organising a livestream for its long-in-development planetary defence system — Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) next month.

With movies like Deep Impact and Armageddon entertaining generations with the possibility of a cataclysmic event that will end all life — and Netflix taking a crack at that narrative with Don’t Look Up — it’s obvious that scientists and defence leaders have considered and planned counter-measures for such scenarios.

Credit: NASA

One of them happens to be the upcoming DART progrmame.

In its media statement, this is the world’s first mission to test technology that is designed to defend the Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards. The concept behind DART is to send a drone hurtling into a targeted massive object deemed as a potential threat. The trial run will target Dimorphos as it poses no threat to Earth.

The live event, which will be livestreamed on various digital channels and broadcasted on global news-portals, is expected to kick-off in the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Maryland at 6pm September 26 2022 EST (GMT -4, 6am September 27 2022 MYT/SGT). The impact time is expected to be 7:14pm EST (GMT -4, 7:14am MYT/SGT).

Credit: NASA

What NASA intends to do with DART is show how a team from our homefront — the Pale Blue Marble — can navigate an autonomous spacecraft towards a targeted asteroid and intentionally collide with it to change its motion and be able to measure and track these alterations with ground-based telescopes.

This orbital impact strategy will provide important data to help better prepare for any space-based objects that can be a potential hazard to Earth.

Here is the summary of the key objectives for the planetary defence test:

  • Demonstrate a kinetic impact with Dimorphos
  • Change the binary orbital period of Dimorphos
  • Use ground-based telescope observations to measure Dimorphos’ changes before and after impact
  • Measure the effects of the impact and resulting ejecta on Dimorphos
Credit: NASA

Those keen on tuning in to the DART trial can do so at NASA TV, the main web-portal for NASA, and its various social media channels (FB, Twitter, and YouTube).

Astronomy enthusiasts or fans of science who want to support this conceptual mission can also register as a ‘Planetary Defender!’ Participant and take a short quiz to earn a certificate and badge related to the DART trial run.

More details about about this mission can be found here.

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