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The Interaction Heating Facility arc jet heater core
The Interaction Heating Facility (IHF) arc jet heater core at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., is the largest of its kind in the United States and one of the principal research areas where materials for space exploration are tested. The arc jets are basically room-size blowtorches used to blast materials for re-entry shields with intense heat, and as such, they get so hot they have to be cooled with thousands of water lines.
Heat shield materials get hit by the heat
Heat shield materials are the size of hockey pucks when tested in the arc jet and submitted to temperatures two or three times that of the sun.
Material meets 1,000 watts/cm(2) of energy
The material pictured here inside the arc jet is being subjected to energy of 1,000 watts per square centimeter.