NASA today will try to destroy the asteroid: you can watch everything live

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NASA plans to strike an asteroid about 11 million km from Earth with a spacecraft weighing over 450 kg on Sept. 26 in an unprecedented planetary defense test, reports The Hill.

NASA will try to destroy an asteroid today: you can watch everything live

Photo: IStock

If successful, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will be the first time a spacecraft has deflected an asteroid with a kinetic impact and adjusted its speed and flight path .

NASA plans to strike the asteroid Dimorphos at around 7:00 pm ET on September 26th.

NASA will begin livestreaming the event around 6:00 pm ET on September 26th. You can watch the broadcast here.

DART is estimated to crash into Dimorphos around 19:14 at a speed of more than 22,000 km per hour. NASA officials will be able to evaluate the results of the strike using ground-based telescopes.

Following the event, officials will hold a media briefing around 20:00 to discuss the DART mission.

DART is a key test for future threats

NASA has repeatedly stressed that Dimorphos does not pose a threat to Earth, but the success of the mission is important for the space agency to develop an effective response to any future threats.

If DART is successful, it could shorten Dimorphos' orbital period by several minutes . After the mission, NASA will apply any lessons learned to future tests designed to prevent a future asteroid from colliding with Earth.

No known asteroid larger than 140 meters has a significant chance of colliding with Earth in the next 100 years, but as of October 2021, scientists have detected about 40 percent of these asteroids, according to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).DART was authorized after a meteorite exploded in Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013, sending shockwaves to six cities across the country.

NASA has an entire office dedicated to protecting the planet: Coordinating planetary defense office.

DART launched in November

The DART spacecraft was launched on November 23, 2021 from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.

The spacecraft weighs 610 kg but consists of only one instrument: the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for optical navigation a system known as DRACO that will take pictures of Dimorphos and its asteroid system.

DRACO also helps guide the DART flight to Dimorphos with Real-time Autonomous Navigation for Small Body Maneuvering (SMART Nav), an algorithm that uses images from DRACO to build a direct path.

Dimorphos is part of the Didymos binary asteroid system which means twin in Greek. The asteroid system lies approximately 11 million km from Earth.

Technically, Dimorphos is a satellite of Didymos, the larger asteroid around which Dimorphos orbits in the system.

Dimorphos is 170 m wide, weighs more than 5 billion kilograms and orbits its parent asteroid every 11 hours and 55 minutes.

The two asteroids are about 1.17 km apart.

A repeat mission is plannedThe European Space Agency (ESA) will send the Hera spacecraft to the Didyma asteroid system in 2024 to assess the impact of DART in more detail.

In the ESA report, which expects Hera to arrive on Didymos in 2026 The Hera spacecraft will also “provide important insights into asteroid science and the evolutionary history of our solar system.”