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.

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

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 SpaceX launch record-breaking Starship rocket on Thursday
The Starship, comprising the first-stage Super Heavy and the upper-stage Starship spacecraft, on the launchpad at SpaceX's facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

Starship Flight Test

Update: SpaceX called off Monday's launch attempt due to a technical issue. It's now targeting Thursday, April 20. Full details below. 

Read more
An old NASA spacecraft will crash to Earth on Wednesday
NASA's RHESSI spacecraft.

A retired NASA spacecraft will reenter Earth’s atmosphere on Wednesday, with some parts of the vehicle expected to crash to the planet's surface.

While most of the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) spacecraft is expected to burn up as it enters the atmosphere at high speed, some parts of the 660-pound (300-kilogram) machine are likely to survive the descent.

Read more
How to watch JUICE mission launch to Jupiter’s icy moons
The European Space Agency's JUICE spacecraft.

[UPDATE: The original target launch date of Thursday, April 13, was called off due to poor weather conditions at the launch site. The JUICE mission is now targeting the morning of Friday, April 14. Full details below.]

Juice launch to Jupiter

Read more