Johns Hopkins University“™s Applied Physics Laboratory has received approval to continue on with a planetary defense program under NASA.
JHU APL said Monday it will enter the integration phase of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test that aims to perform asteroid deflection via a kinetic impactor approach.
DART will help NASA measure the orbital changes of a small moonlet moving around the Didymos A asteroid.
The DART spacecraft will undergo integration testing with complementary systems in the program“™s upcoming phase. The APL-led DART engineering team confirmed the readiness of the spacecraft’s build, software activities and facility integration.
The team, under the leadership of APL engineer Elena Adams, presented the effort“™s status in March to a readiness review board composed of experts from NASA and APL.
NASA plans to launch DART onboard SpaceX“™s Falcon 9 launch vehicle in 2021.