NASA is set to channel the spirit of the 1998 movie Armageddon on Monday. The space agency plans to crash a spacecraft into the asteroid Dimorphos in the first test of a planetary defense system. Dubbed the “Double Asteroid Redirection Test” (DART), the program aims to change the orbit of the celestial body.
The hope of the test is to show that asteroids, comets or other space-born hazards can be deflected from Earth, possibly saving us all from extinction. This first attempt to deflect an asteroid has been sailing towards its destination since November 2021.
You can watch The Impact (sans Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck) live on Monday, September 26 on YouTube. The live broadcast begins at 1:30 pm EDT. NASA says the impact itself will occur at 7:14 pm EDT. The agency will livestream a news conference about the mission at 8 pm EDT.
The target asteroid, Dimorphos, is a moon of another asteroid, Didymos. NASA aims to hit Dimorphos in the opposite direction as Didymos to see if the impact reduces the radius of Dimorphos’s orbit. The full consequences of hitting Dimorphos with the DART remain unknown until the impact occurs.
If, after seeing the collision, you want to join the fight to protect Earth from asteroids and comets, NASA has a fun way to do it.
Font: digital trends