DART Demonstrator To Test Future AutonomousRendezvous Technologies in Orbit
National Aeronautics andSpace Administration
Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, Alabama 35812The Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technol-ogy (DART) is an advanced ight demonstrator that pro-vides a key step in establishing autonomous rendezvouscapabilities for the U.S. space program. While previousrendezvous and docking efforts have been piloted byastronauts, the unmanned DART satellite will have com-puters to perform all of its rendezvous functions.DART is designed to demonstrate technologies required fora spacecraft to locate and rendezvous, or maneuver closeto, other craft in space. Results from the DART missionwill aid in the development of NASA’s Orbital Space Plane– designed to provide a crew transfer and crew rescuecapability to and from the International Space Station.Developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles,Va., the DART ight demonstrator will be launched ona Pegasus rocket from its Stargazer L-1011 aircraft. Atapproximately 40,000 feet over the Pacic Ocean, thePegasus rocket will be released with the DART satellite.
In this artist’s conception, the DARTight demonstrator (top left) is shownrendezvousing with the MULBCOMsatellite (bottom right) in low-Earth orbit.