How NASA Mission Designers Invent Futuristic Spacecraft

From journeying to distant worlds to catching asteroids, this NASA conceptual design team turns the spacecraft of your dreams into reality.

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This Jumping Probe Might Explore Neptune’s Biggest Moon…
“After the probe (called the Triton Hopper) lands on Triton, it would use radioactive isotopes to heat ice that it mined from the moon to drive rocket-powered jumps up to a kilometer high and five kilometers long. Steven Oleson, the principal investigator on the Triton Hopper, says the probe has the potential to explore a large portion of the moon’s surface. “We want to go from the equator to the pole.””

A Nuclear Tunneling Worm Could Help Us Find Out What’s Beneath Europa’s Ice…
“While the Europa Clipper’s launch is TBD, scientists are already working on the big problem of getting through all that ice to see what’s below. Working with NASA, a team of scientists have proposed a solution: a nuclear-powered tunneling robot.”

NASA Space Submarine Could Explore Titan’s Methane Seas…
“The extraterrestrial seas of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, provide an ideal world for a robotic submarine to explore, and a team of scientists is working on an innovative mission concept that could make that vision a reality.”

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