DART mission launch

Dr. Van Noord discusses NASA DART mission propulsion system

Mission will test planetary defense system against potential hazards to Earth.


U-M Space Physics Research Laboratory engineer Dr. Jon Van Noord was recently interviewed by WDIV meteorologist Paul Gross about the ion thruster propulsion system being used on the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which launched last week.

Dr. Van Noord, an expert on the NEXT-C ion thruster drive used on the DART spacecraft, gave an overview of the technology behind the system for the news segment.

NEXT-C-Ion-Engine-Firing. Image: NASA-Glenn-Research-Center-Aerojet-Rocketdyne-NEXT–C

The DART mission will test technology intended to defend Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards. According to NASA, DART will demonstrate that a spacecraft can navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it, shifting its course away from impacting our planet.

Watch the interview with Dr. Van Noord: https://www.clickondetroit.com/video/news/2021/11/27/nasa-launches-mission-to-test-technology-that-could-someday-save-our-planet/

Read more about the NEXT-C ion drive: https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/space/sep/gridded-ion-thrusters-next-c/

Read more about the NASA DART mission: https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/dart

Space Physics Research Laboratory website: https://xtrm-sprl.engin.umich.edu/