Elena Adams

DART Mission Systems Engineer
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab

Dr. Elena Adams is a Systems Engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, MD. She received an undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of Virginia and a PhD in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan. She worked on NASA’s Juno mission for her postdoctoral research in planetary science, but then she got a Masters of Engineering in Space Systems and never looked back. She has been at APL for more than 10 years and in that time got to be an instrument scientist on an ExoMars MOMA instrument, an Instrument System Engineer on NASA’s Van Allen Probes, a Deputy Project System Engineer on NASA’s Europa Clipper Mission, and the Payload Systems Engineer on NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Mission. She had been a PI for multiple NASA grants developing new technology for future planetary exploration, such as Planetary Geophysical Observer (a lander to hop on asteroids), and EFun (a funnel for capturing ice sample from Enceladus, a moon of Saturn). She is extremely happy and proud to be the Mission and Spacecraft Systems Engineer on the NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, thinks that it’s the coolest mission ever, and that the team building it is great. Go DART!

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