Testing an Impenetrable Heat Shield

When NASA’s Orion re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, it will endure temperatures of 5000 degrees. How do we ensure the spacecraft —and those inside—survive the ride?

During re-entry, NASA’s Orion crew module will generate temperatures hot enough to melt rock.
Technicians and engineers attach the heat shield to the Orion crew module inside the Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Image courtesy NASA

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