Nuclear energy has played a key supporting role in historic missions to Mars, Pluto, and across the Solar System for the last 50 years. On January 1 2019, the nuclear-powered New Horizons flew by the most distant object ever observed up close – Ultima Thule, after it having already flown by Pluto in 2015. Nuclear
HOUSTON—Experts from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have not given up on efforts to fully deploy the Mars InSight lander’s subsurface thermal probe, which has been stalled at a depth of 30 cm (12 in.), far from its goal of 5 m since late February. NASA’s $1 billion, two-year InSight
Gearing up for its first flight test, NASA’s Adaptable Deployable Entry Placement Technology, or ADEPT, is no ordinary umbrella. ADEPT is a foldable device that opens to make a round, rigid heat shield, called an aeroshell. This game-changing technology could squeeze a heat shield into a rocket with a diameter larger than the rocket itself.