From the Sun to Pluto and Beyond
Johns Hopkins APL’s Civil Space Mission Area makes critical contributions to NASA and international missions to meet the challenges of space science, engineering, and exploration.
Since the dawn of the Space Age, APL has pushed the frontiers of space science, engineering and exploration. We captured the first picture of Earth from space, invented navigation by satellite, dispatched spacecraft across the solar system from our Sun to Pluto and beyond, and successfully conducted the world’s first full-scale planetary defense test mission.
We continue to shape the future by providing our nation with innovative and low-cost solutions to its space challenges. Our work includes conducting research and space exploration; development and application of space science, engineering, and technology; and production of one-of-a-kind spacecraft, instruments, and subsystems.
DragonflyDragonfly is a NASA mission that will explore Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Led by APL, this revolutionary rotorcraft-lander expedition will study the atmosphere, carbon-based chemistry, and geology of this cold yet Earthlike moon and ultimately advance our understanding of life’s chemical origins.
Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP)Set to launch in 2025, NASA’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission will help researchers better understand what happens at the boundary of the heliosphere, where the Sun’s protective magnetic field ends.
Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)NASA’s first planetary defense mission—the APL-led Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)—is the first mission to demonstrate what’s known as the kinetic impactor technique, which involves striking an asteroid to shift its orbit and deflect it from Earth.
May 25, 2023
Spacecraft Engineer Is on Fire for Community ServiceWhen he’s not working on spacecraft electrical systems, Johns Hopkins APL mechanical engineer Kyle Norman spends his time putting out fires — literally. As a volunteer firefighter, he responded to more than 360 emergency calls last year and won a community service award for his efforts.
May 24, 2023
Johns Hopkins APL’s Boye Named Maryland Outstanding Young EngineerJeff Boye was named the 2023 Outstanding Young Engineer by the Maryland Academy of Sciences during a ceremony on May 18 at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.
May 19, 2023
DART Mission Recognized for Aerospace ExcellenceNASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), designed, built and operated by Johns Hopkins APL, was recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) with the organization’s newest award — the AIAA Award for Aerospace Excellence — on May 18.