Seeing Data in New and Powerful Ways

From investigating a team’s proposed flight trajectories, to designing and testing its instruments, to analyzing the returned mission data, APL can support mission development from beginning to end. Applying a wide range of experience in visualization, software development and algorithmic analysis, APL researchers can extract valuable scientific information from the growing amounts of mission data to address key questions about our place in the cosmos, whether from the Sun, Pluto or beyond. And with expertise in software tools and development, our scientists can comprehend and visualize this data in new and powerful ways, including machine learning, cloud computing and virtual and augmented reality. These tools and skills were used to model the heliosphere using particle instruments on NASA’s Parker Solar Probe; to analyze and re-project images of Pluto captured by NASA’s New Horizons; and to develop 3D models with the APL-designed Small Body Mapping Tool, which enables detailed studies of asteroid surfaces and aided in selecting a touch-down spot for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission on the asteroid Bennu.


APL has designed, built and operated more than 70 innovative spacecraft over its six decades of spaceflight experience. Click below to learn about some of the missions that made revolutionary discoveries, and spacecraft that will push the boundaries of exploration and investigate outstanding scientific mysteries.


Scientists and engineers at APL have designed, built and operated more than 300 novel space instruments and methods to conduct cutting-edge research and make groundbreaking discoveries. Click below to learn about some of these instruments and their role in shaping our understanding of space and the solar system.


Go inside APL’s space missions and research, and check out the latest news, features and discoveries from the teams that are probing mysteries from the Sun to the edge of the solar system and beyond.