Asteroid Day Affiliation:
Elena Adams is the mission systems engineer on NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. Prior to joining APL in 2008, she was a planetary scientist, working on NASA missions to Jupiter and Saturn. Since pivoting to her role as a systems engineer, she has worked on NASA and ESA missions to Mars, Earth’s Van Allen Belts, Europa, and the Sun, as well as studies for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She won multiple NASA grants for developing technology for future space exploration, including a hopping lander to explore asteroids and a sampling system for collecting water from Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. She received a B.S. in applied mathematics from the University of Virginia; an M.S. and Ph.D. in atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences, and an M.E. in space systems from the University of Michigan.