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Exploration for the Benefit of All

For more than 80 years, NASA Glenn has been conducting research and innovating technologies for the benefit of all. The center has been instrumental in nearly every NASA space exploration and science mission, providing expertise propulsion, power, physics, materials, and cryogenic fluid management. 

Learn More about Exploration for the Benefit of All
earth moon mars mosaic

Electrifying Propulsion

NASA uses big, powerful rockets that produce millions of pounds of thrust to break free of Earth’s gravity. But once in space, NASA’s most capable propulsion system produces just one pound of thrust while costing less, carrying more, and reaching speeds up to 200,000 mph.

A solar electric propulsion Hall Effect thruster being tested under vacuum conditions at NASA.

Powering Exploration

Extended stays on the Moon or Mars present many environmental challenges, including lack of sunlight and extreme temperatures. To overcome these challenges, NASA Glenn is developing power systems that will work together to provide future missions with abundant, reliable power.

The Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for NASA'S Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is shown during a fit check with the rover in a payload processing facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 16-17, 2020.

Microgravity Research

NASA’s deep space exploration efforts start just 260 miles above Earth’s surface. Glenn is advancing our understanding of physics and human physiology on the International Space Station. Much of that work benefits not only NASA missions but life here on Earth.

image of an astronaut setting up combustion experiment hardware

Space Communications

With more entities now exploring space, the environment is becoming more dynamic. NASA Glenn is developing multiple communications technologies—cognitive, optical, quantum—to help manage spacecraft operations for future missions. 

An artist's depiction of a future lunar communications network. An astronaut stands on the surface of the Moon and sends communications to an orbiting spacecraft and back to Earth.

Space and Planetary Science

NASA Glenn supports the agency’s many planetary science missions by contributing scientific and systems engineering expertise and unique its testing facilities.

Artist rendition of astronaut inspecting dust on the lunar surface.

Out-of-This World Materials

NASA Glenn develops materials for the extreme environments found the surfaces of the Moon and Mars, and for other exploration and science missions to destinations beyond.

Spring Tire for Improved Durability