Voyages of Exploration

As spaceflight pioneers with six decades of experience, APL has designed, built and operated and led more than 70 spacecraft missions — including some of NASA's most innovative and challenging missions over the past two decades.


Now in development, these game-changing missions are poised to reshape how we think about exploring worlds and phenomena across the solar system.


The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission will study the boundary of our heliosphere.

Europa Clipper

A mission to survey Jupiter’s icy moon Europa and determine whether it has conditions suitable to harboring life.


Dragonfly is a NASA New Frontiers mission that will send a rotorcraft lander to explore the prebiotic chemistry and habitability of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.


The Electrojet Zeeman Imaging Explorer (EZIE) will characterize the electrojets that flow high in Earth’s atmosphere to reveal the underlying processes that form them.

Lunar Vertex

Lunar Vertex will be the first mission to carry out a comprehensive study of lunar magnetic anomaly and the associated swirl and mini-magnetosphere.


These missions, dispatched to destinations from the Sun to Pluto and beyond, are sending home data that are changing our views of the solar system — and beyond.


The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is NASA’s first planetary defense test mission.

Parker Solar Probe

Parker Solar Probe dives closer to the Sun than humanity has ever ventured to unlock the mysteries of our nearest star.

Balloon Programs

APL balloon missions and instruments observe planetary targets and the interstellar medium, and conduct other space science investigations.


The Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) mission has provided 3D views of the solar corona, coronal mass ejections and the solar wind, and advanced space weather forecasting.

New Horizons

New Horizons is the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, the distant region of planetary building blocks that hold keys to our solar system’s formation.


For nearly two decades, the Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) mission has explored the gateway between Earth and Space.


A heliophysics observatory, the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) provides early warning of geomagnetic storms that can overload power grids, disrupt communications on Earth and present a hazard to astronauts.


A sampling of the many completed APL missions that changed the paradigm of space science — and set the stage for today’s voyages of exploration across the solar system.

Van Allen Probes

A mission to explore Earth’s harsh radiation belt environment and the dynamics of geomagnetic storms.


MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) was the first mission to orbit Mercury, shedding unprecedented light on the origins and evolution of the innermost planet.


The first launch in NASA’s Discovery program, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) was the first mission to orbit and land on an asteroid.