Aerojet Rocketdyne Delivers DART Spacecraft Propulsion Systems Ahead of 2021 Asteroid Impact Mission
DART is set to launch in late
In addition to providing the chemical propulsion system for the spacecraft, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s NEXT-C (NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster – Commercial) system will also be demonstrated on the mission. NEXT-C is a next-generation solar electric propulsion system designed and built by
“DART plays an important role in understanding if it is possible to deflect asteroids and change their orbits,” said
The NEXT-C system completed acceptance and integration testing at NASA Glenn in February. With a successful in-flight test of this next generation of ion engine technology, DART will demonstrate its potential for application to future NASA missions and may make use of NEXT-C for two of the planned spacecraft trajectory correction maneuvers.
The DART mission is an effort led by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/overview) and managed by APL with support from other industry partners (https://dart.jhuapl.edu/).
Source: Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc.