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 a ﬂight demonstrator that provides a keystep in establishing autonomous rendezvous capabilitiesfor the U.S. space program. While previous rendezvousand docking efforts have been piloted by astronauts, theunmanned DART spacecraft will have computers andsensors to perform all of its rendezvous functions.Future applications of technologies developed by theDART project will beneﬁt the nation in future space systemsdevelopment requiring in-space assembly, services, orother autonomous rendezvous operations.DART is designed to demonstrate technologies requiredfor a spacecraft to locate and rendezvous, or maneuverclose to, other craft in space. Developed by Orbital Sci-ences Corporation of Dulles, Va., the DART spacecraftwill be launched on a Pegasus vehicle from its StargazerL-1011 aircraft. At approximately 40,000 feet over thePaciﬁc Ocean, the Pegasus vehicle will be released with
In this artist’s conception, the DARTﬂight demonstrator (top left) is shownrendezvousing with the MUBLCOMsatellite (bottom right) in orbit.