A Delta II rocket stands ready to launch the  Deep Impact spacecraft. Photo credit: NASA

Since 1980, ADL has tested nearly every nutationally unstable (inertia ratio less than one) spacecraft launched on a Delta II rocket with a spinning third stage. For many of these programs, tank baffles were designed and tested to increase the nutational time constant.


“The spacecraft for which you supported us now include the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Climate Orbiter, Stardust and the Mars 2001 Orbiter. In each case, your outstanding technical expertise and rigorous test discipline yielded data in which we were confident. Your responsiveness to our compressed schedules and changing requirements allowed us to meet our deadlines. The effort that you put into your testing in support of these projects is deeply appreciated ... .”
—Lockheed Martin

“[Regarding the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter] NASA has determined that Applied Dynamics Laboratories is the only vendor which can provide [drop tower] testing and is the only research group that has the experience of developing scaled models to match a number of dimensionless parameters needed to assure proper scaling between the model and the flight hardware ... [and] can deliver with the current urgency... .”
—NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Applied Dynamics Laboratories
Portland, Oregon
(503) 502-0169
British Aerospace 
     (now BAE Systems)
Ford Aerospace 
     (now Space Systems/Loral)
General Electric
     (now Lockheed Martin)
Hughes Aircraft Co. (now Boeing)
Johns Hopkins University Applied 
     Physics Laboratory
NASA Goddard Space 
     Flight Center
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
NASA Kennedy Space Center
Lockheed Martin
Martin Marietta 
     (now Lockheed Martin)
Matra (now EADS Astrium)
McDonnell-Douglas (now Boeing)
Orbital Sciences Corp.
RCA (now Lockheed Martin)
Selenia Spazio 
     (now Alenia Aeronautica)
Southwest Research
TRW (now Northrop Grumman)
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Dawn heads for the astroid belt aboard a Delta II rocket.  Photo credit: LaunchPhotography.com

Composite images from Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Orbiter capture the south polar region of Mars. Photo credit: NASA