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Space History Photo: Impact Studies

space history, nasa, hypervelocity ballistic range
In this 1963 photo an energy flash, the product of a projectile hitting a solid surface at up to 17,000 mph, is shown. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the "energy flash" produced when a projectile launched at speeds up to 17,000 mph impacts a solid surface is shown. The test was performed at the Hypervelocity Ballistic Range at NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California.

This test is used to simulate what happens when a piece of orbital debris hits a spacecraft in orbit.

Each weekday, looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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NASA Archives
NASA Archives

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: