Unlocking the Mysteries of Deep Space with Solar Sail Advancements

New concepts could expand human exploration of the solar system more quickly than ever.

The APPLE concept is a new type of spacecraft power system that will open previously inaccessible parts of the solar system to human exploration and make a range of rapid transit missions possible. Credit: Aerospace

Using the Sun for Propulsion

Advancing Solar Sails for Deeper Space Exploration

Two new solar sail mission concepts will assess spacecraft communications and power requirements and explore the design of higher fidelity sail control systems to ensure precise navigation around the Sun and interstellar locations. Credit: Aerospace

APPLE: Atomic Power and Energy Storage

The APPLE power tile is made of a sandwich of batteries covering a hot isotope layer. The heat is converted to energy and stored in the batteries. Credit: Aerospace

Expanding Capabilities, Expanding Access

We operate the only federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) committed exclusively to the space enterprise.