Skip to main content

How to watch NASA launch its DART anti-asteroid spacecraft tonight

NASA is about to launch a spacecraft with a daring mission: To crash into an asteroid, in order to test our planetary defense options. The mission, dubbed DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), will head toward a pair of asteroids called Didymos and Dimorphos and will crash into the smaller one in an attempt to knock it off-course. Don’t worry — the asteroid pair doesn’t actually threaten Earth — but this test will demonstrate what defense options Earth might have if an incoming body threatened our planet.

The launch of DART is scheduled for 1:20 a.m. ET on Wednesday, November 24 (10:20 p.m. PT on Tuesday, November 23) and will be livestreamed by NASA. We’ve got all the details on how to watch the launch as it happens.

Illustration of NASA’s DART spacecraft and the Italian Space Agency’s (ASI) LICIACube prior to impact at the Didymos binary system.
Illustration of NASA’s DART spacecraft and the Italian Space Agency’s (ASI) LICIACube prior to impact at the Didymos binary system. NASA/Johns Hopkins, APL/Steve Gribben

DART will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. It will travel through space until arriving at the double asteroid system in fall 2022 and beginning its collision test.

How to watch the DART launch

To watch the launch live, you can tune into the NASA TV channel either by using the video embedded at the top of this page or by heading to NASA’s website.

Coverage of the launch begins at 12:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, November 24 (9:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday, November 23), showing prelaunch activities as well as the launch itself.

If you’d like to learn more about the DART mission, there are also two news conferences coming up this week: One today, Sunday, November 11, and one on Monday. On Sunday at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) there is a DART investigation and engineering briefing, while on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) there is a DART prelaunch news conference.

Finally, there is also a NASA Science Live event all about the DART mission featuring Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division, Nancy Chabot, DART coordination lead, and Joshua Ramirez Rodriguez, telecommunications subsystem integration and test lead engineer. This event will be shown on NASA on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. ET) and will include the opportunity for members of the public to submit questions during the stream.

Editors' Recommendations

Georgina Torbet
Georgina is the Digital Trends space writer, covering human space exploration, planetary science, and cosmology. She…
How to watch Europe launch a new Earth observation satellite tonight
Artist's view of EarthCARE on board a Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Equipped with four instruments, the Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) satellite mission has been designed to make a range of different measurements that together will shed new light on the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth’s climate.

Artist's view of EarthCARE on board a Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Equipped with four instruments, the Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) satellite mission has been designed to make a range of different measurements that together will shed new light on the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth’s climate. ESA - P. Carril

Tonight, the European Space Agency (ESA) will launch its latest mission: a satellite called EarthCARE, which will observe clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere to learn more about climate change. The launch will be live streamed, so if you'd like to watch along and learn about this new mission, then we have all the details on how to watch below.
What to expect from the launch
The EarthCARE mission will be launched using a SpaceX Falcon 9, and the launch will take place from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The mission's full name, Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer, demonstrates what the satellite is designed to do: research aerosols in the atmosphere and how they contribute to atmospheric heating and cooling. A big part of this research is understanding the role of clouds in this heating and cooling process, which is important for long-term research into climate change.

Read more
NASA now aiming to launch Starliner astronauts flight next month
Boeing's Starliner spacecraft at the space station during an uncrewed test flight.

The Starliner sits on the launchpad atop an Atlas V rocket. NASA

After a series of recent delays, NASA and Boeing Space are now aiming to perform the first crewed launch of the Starliner spacecraft on Saturday, June 1.

Read more
Here are the new spacesuits astronauts will wear for tonight’s Starliner launch
A graphic displaying Boeing’s spacesuit for Starliner astronauts.

A graphic displaying Boeing’s spacesuit for Starliner astronauts. NASA/Boeing

Two NASA astronauts are making final preparations directly ahead of the first crewed launch of the new Boeing Starliner capsule, which will launch from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida later tonight, Monday May 6. Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams will be aboard for liftoff at 10:34 p.m. ET (here's how to watch), when an Alliance Atlas V rocket launchesthe Starliner for its test flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

Read more