NASA Invites Media to Witness World’s First Planetary Defense Test

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Illustration of NASA’s DART spacecraft and the Italian Space Agency’s (ASI) LICIACube prior to impact at the Didymos binary system.

Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

Editor’s note: This advisory was updated Sept. 22 to include details about the Sept. 26 DART post-impact briefing, including streaming details, and information to request media credentials for remote participation.

Lee esta nota de prensa en español aquí.

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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 impact its target asteroid—which poses no threat to Earth—at 7:14 p.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 26.

Among other activities, NASA will host a televised briefing beginning at 6 p.m. on Sept. 26 from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. APL is the builder and manager of the DART spacecraft for NASA.

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.

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The following is a list of activities for DART’s impact with the asteroid Dimorphos (all times Eastern):

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. 

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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 FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.
  • ​7:14 p.m.  DART’s kinetic impact with asteroid Dimorphos.
  • ​​8 p.m. – Media briefing at Johns Hopkins APL to hear from mission experts immediately following DART’s successful impact with asteroid Dimorphos. Media interested in receiving details for remote participation must RSVP by 12 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26 to: alana.r.johnson@nasa.gov.
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Interview Opportunities

Remote live and taped interviews via Zoom will be offered from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26. To book a live shot window, media should fill out this form by 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22.

A series of panels featuring NASA and APL mission experts will take place at APL on Monday, Sept. 26.  Opportunities for interviews before and after DART’s asteroid impact will be available by filling out this form.


NASA Social

Stay connected with the DART mission and share your experience watching DART’s impact with an asteroid on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with #DARTMission and #PlanetaryDefender. Follow and tag these accounts:

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Become a Planetary Defender

Support the DART mission by becoming a “Planetary Defender!” Participants who take a short quiz will earn a certificate and badge they can download, print, and share on social media.

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