What happens if a spacecraft encounters problems in the vacuum of space? While space travel can be very dangerous, there are plenty of fail-safes. NASA, in fact, is carrying out tests to make sure the Orion spacecraft is ready to safely carry crew on an alternate mission profile in the unlikely event that problems occur.
A new engine concept from NASA’s Glenn Research Center allows for truly distributed propulsion. The concept enables airframe and system modularity by allowing parts to be swapped or repaired easily. Design changes can be applied to individual components and not the entire propulsion system. The NASA Glenn innovation eliminates heavy shafts and disks, and allows