Press Release

NASA Sets New DART Launch Date

By SpaceRef Editor
October 27, 2004
Filed under ,

NASA announced Thursday is the next launch attempt for
the Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART)
spacecraft. The launch window opens at 2:16:13 p.m. EDT and
closes at 2:21:57 p.m. EDT.

The launch is from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. aboard
an Orbital Sciences Corp. Pegasus XL vehicle. The target drop
time of the Pegasus from the carrier aircraft is 2:18 p.m.

The DART spacecraft will be launched on the Pegasus vehicle
from its Stargazer L-1011 jet aircraft. At approximately
40,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean, the Pegasus will be
released with the DART spacecraft. The vehicle will boost the
DART spacecraft into a polar orbit, where it will rendezvous
with another spacecraft.

DART is a flight demonstrator that provides a key step in
establishing autonomous rendezvous capabilities for the U.S.
space program and the Vision for Space Exploration. While
astronauts have piloted previous rendezvous and docking
efforts, the unmanned DART spacecraft will have only
computers and sensors to perform all of its rendezvous

Future applications of technologies developed by the DART
project will benefit the nation in future space systems
development requiring in-space assembly, services, or other
autonomous rendezvous operations.

SpaceRef staff editor.