NASA-Johns Hopkins APL Team Unveils New Name of Asteroid Target for DART Mission

DART
DART

The International Astronomical Union has approved an official name for the Didymos asteroid system’s smaller moon that will serve as the target of an experiment by NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

APL said Monday the Dimorphos moon, previously known as Didymos B, will be used for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test meant to provide insight into how kinetic impact can be used to change the orbit of an asteroid.

The NASA-APL team plans to use the LICIACube minisatellite from the Italian Space Agency to facilitate in-space recording of the DART operation in 2022.

Andrea Riley, program executive for DART at NASA, said the team intends to use data from the experiment to discover new methods for deflecting asteroids to support planetary defense operations.

The announcement comes after APL and NASA finished integrating Aerjoet Rocketdyne engines into the primary DART architecture in May ahead of its 14-month journey to the binary asteroid system.

The European Space Agency is working with the DART team in preparation for a separate mission called Hera which will take place after the deflection test.

You may also be interested in...

Jay Lambke President GAI

Government Acquisitions Obtains SBA HUBZone Program Certification; Jay Lambke Quoted

Cincinnati, Ohio-based company Government Acquisitions Inc. has been accredited by the Small Business Administration under a program that seeks to provide economic benefits to government contractors from historically underutilized business zones.

Satellite launch

SpaceX Launches Satellite for Multinational Ocean Observation Effort

SpaceX has sent to space a satellite designed to monitor sea levels across the globe under a U.S.-U.K. partnership. The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a mission to collect sea level data, support ship navigation and inform weather forecasts, NASA said Sunday.

KBR

KBR Gets $65M Navy Contract Modification for Base Support Services

KBR has received a one-year, $64.8M contract modification to carry out base operating support services at various U.S. Navy installations in Djibouti and Kenya.