Later this week, NASA plans to literally launch a historic feat. The space agency’s brand new DART mission aims to impact and potentially redirect the course of an asteroid. The ambitious endeavor sounds impressive in itself. Further, NASA is offering a variety of ways interested Outsiders can both observe and participate in the DART launch. Read on for specifics.
DART, which stands for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, launches on Wednesday, November 24th according to Space.com. The outlet added that the historic endeavor takes off no sooner than 1:20 a.m. Eastern, and that NASA will be taking care of live launch coverage.
Further, NASA’s DART launch takes place at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
For those interested in witnessing the DART launch, you have a vast array of options with which to follow along. The outlet states NASA will provide coverage via NASA Television, NASA’s YouTube, the NASA app, and various other agency social media channels.
As to DART’S actual mission, Space.com states the test will see the mission collide with Dimorphos. Dimorphos is an asteroid moonlet, with DART making contact in the fall of next year. Dimorphos actually orbits another asteroid identified as Didymos. As the mission gets underway, the asteroid is close enough scientists can see practically any occurrence via a ground-based telescope. The outlet states the European Space Agency plans to follow up with a similar mission, Hera. Although that particular launch is several years from now in 2026.
Get Involved with NASA’s DART Mission
The upcoming launch promises a variety of unique, interesting, and exciting activities and briefings for Outsiders to participate in.
Ahead of and during the launch, the national space agency plans to host several virtual briefings regarding the DART mission. During the talks, NASA encourages followers to reach out with questions, using the hashtag, “AskNASA.”
Further, NASA has arranged for members of the public to register to virtually attend the launch and watch videos. Followers can even receive a virtual guest launch passport stamp. In addition, NASA has organized a virtual NASA social, where Outisiders curious to witness the Mission may ask questions and even earn a special certificate the historic DART launch.
As a whole, the upcoming event presents a unique opportunity for an outer space enthusiast like myself. We’ve always been able to follow these kinds of events through photos and footage on social media. However, it appears NASA is really amped up about the approaching mission.
Further, be sure to check out the itinerary of full briefings and discussions over at Space.com. discussions begin as early as 4 p.m. on Monday, November 21st, with additional virtual discussions and events scheduled throughout various times throughout the length of the week ahead of NASA’s DART launch.