Today, in accordance with a 1971 Presidential proclamation, the United States commemorates the first human setting foot on the moon. As a science agency, NNSA’s technology and development have given rise to extraterrestrial innovation and enabled other-worldly achievements. From building the hardware that help scientists reach outer space to modeling the physics that both explain and make space exploration possible, NNSA’s labs and sites are at the forefront of American space ingenuity.
Technology created by NNSA labs and scientists is frequently deployed and used from space, including nuclear detonation detection sensors and other space-based nonproliferation technology. NNSA lab researchers investigate sensing solutions to address a wide range of complex national security issues in space, including “patrolling traffic” of objects orbiting earth to keep them from colliding with each other, and the ChemCam instrument package currently exploring Mars.
Capabilities at NNSA’s labs that were created to support NNSA’s stockpile stewardship and nonproliferation missions are ideal for testing spacecraft materials against the harsh environments endured during space travel. Highlights of these efforts include:
Among some of the most exciting work conducted at NNSA’s laboratories is for planetary defense – detecting, tracking, and planning deflection missions for asteroids that might collide with Earth. All of NNSA’s labs participate in the planetary defense effort.