10 NASA space technologies that may never see the cosmos

NASA has robots, rockets, inflatable homes and lots of other advanced technology that may never lift off.

That's a firewall: NASA recently made one of the most important decisions for the future of its space flights - the heat shield material that will protect future space explorers from the hellish heat of space travel. The space agency went with a technology it was quite familiar with, a fiberglass, silica, epoxy combination known as Avcoat. On the blistering return through Earth's atmosphere, the module will encounter temperatures as high as 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating rates may be up to five times more extreme than rates for missions returning from the International Space Station, NASA said.

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