Double Asteroid Redirection Test Mission Resources

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), built and managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, is humanity’s first attempt to change the motion of an asteroid in space by intentionally crashing a spacecraft into it. DART’s target asteroid is not a threat to Earth but is the perfect testing ground to see if this method of asteroid deflection – known as the kinetic impactor technique – would be a viable way to protect our planet if an asteroid on a collision course with Earth were discovered in the future. 

DART is scheduled to impact its target asteroid Dimorphos, a satellite of the asteroid Didymos, on Monday, September 26, 2022 at 7:14 p.m. ET.

This page will be updated whenever possible. Below are resources to help you plan events and content around the impact. 

Impact Day Details

When: Monday, September 26, 2022 
Time of Impact: 7:14 p.m. ET
Live Coverage: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. ET 

Coverage will stream live on NASA TV, NASA YouTube, NASA Facebook and NASA Twitter.

 

Lessons & Activities

Web Resources

Videos

We Asked a NASA Scientist Series: 

Behind the Spacecraft Series:

Other Videos: 

Virtual NASA Social / Behind-the-Scenes of Launch:

Upcoming Videos (coming in September):

  • Challenges of Crashing a Spacecraft into an Asteroid
  • How Will We Know if DART is Successful?

 

Social Media

Social Media Accounts: 

Hashtags:

  • #DARTMission
  • #PlanetaryDefender​


Animations/Graphics

DART Logos: 

DART Gifs

 

 

Key Messages

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, is the world’s first full-scale planetary defense test, demonstrating one method of asteroid defection technology. 

As part of NASA’s larger planetary defense strategy, the DART mission will prove that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it, a method of asteroid defection known as kinetic impact. 

DART will simultaneously test new technologies and provide important data to enhance our modeling and predictive capabilities and help us better prepare for an asteroid that might pose a threat to Earth, should one be discovered.

True to its name, DART is a focused spacecraft, designed to direct itself to impact an asteroid at roughly 15,000 miles per hour, or 4 miles per second (6 kilometers per second). Its target, which poses no threat to Earth, is the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos (Greek for “two forms”), which orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos (Greek for “twin”). 

Mission Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate a kinetic impact with Dimorphos.
  2. Change the binary orbital period of Dimorphos.
  3. Use ground-based telescope observations to measure Dimorphos’ period change before and after impact.
  4. Measure the effects of the impact and the efficiency of the defection. 

Size: The asteroid Didymos is approximately 2,500 feet (780 meters) in diameter, or roughly the height of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world. Its moonlet, Dimorphos, is about 525 feet (160 meters) in size, or about the size of the High Roller in Las Vegas, the world’s tallest operating Ferris wheel. 

Bits of interplanetary dust and rock hit Earth all the time. Most of these are harmless and burn up in our planet’s atmosphere. Occasionally, some bigger objects make it through, causing local damage or, in extreme cases, massive devastation. But with the right technology and knowledge of asteroids’ orbits, scientists can anticipate and prevent an impact by deflecting an asteroid just enough to avoid a collision. 

Asteroids are time capsules — rocky relics that date back to the formation of our solar system roughly 4.6 billion years ago and carry chemical signatures that can help us understand how the solar system formed. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and compositions, from one-meter boulders to planetoids stretching hundreds of miles across

Astronomers will measure the change in Dimorphos’ motion in space before and after DART’s kinetic impact using ground based observatories to determine how effective the test was. 

Additional information and key messages can be found here: https://dart.jhuapl.edu/News-and-Resources/files/DART-press-kit-web-FINAL.pdf 

 

Disclaimer Text

In order to avoid confusion on if this mission is addressing a current threat to Earth, the below disclaimer text accompanies all products. 

 

LONG

DART is a spacecraft designed to impact an asteroid as a test of technology. DART’s target asteroid is NOT a threat to Earth. This asteroid system is a perfect testing ground to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future. While no known asteroids larger than 140 meters in size have a significant chance to hit Earth for the next 100 years, only about 40 percent of those asteroids have been found as of October 2021.

SHORT

DART is a spacecraft designed to impact an asteroid as a test of technology. DART’s target asteroid is NOT a threat to Earth. This asteroid system is a perfect testing ground to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future.

BROADCAST

DART is a test. There are no known asteroid threats to Earth.

SOCIAL

There are no known asteroid threats.

No known asteroid threats to Earth.


 

Asteroid Hunters IMAX Film

This IMAX Original Film ventures deep into space for a fascinating look at asteroids, their cosmic origins and the potential threat they pose to our world.

Website/Info: https://asteroidhunters.imax.com/

This film is available for screenings at IMAX theaters. If you are interested in screening or booking this film at your IMAX theater, please reach out to: 
Gina Glen, Director, Film Distribution 
GGlen@imax.com
O: 905-403-6294
M: 905-467-1574