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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 10:51 EDT

Latest Bill Congdon Stories

2005-09-07 18:52:59

For the last two years, tests have been conducted at Sandia National Laboratories' National Solar Thermal Test Facility to see how materials used for NASA's future planetary exploration missions can withstand severe radiant heating. The tests apply heat equivalent to 1,500 suns to spacecraft shields called Advanced Charring Ablators. The ablators protect spacecraft entering atmospheres at hypersonic speeds. The test facility includes a 200-ft. "solar tower" surrounded by by a field of...