Ames Research Center


Group Leader of the Test Engineering Group

Ms. Imelda Terrazas-Salinas serves as the group lead for the Test Engineering Group in the Thermophysics Facilities Branch (TFB). This branch operates test facilities which are very much like high temperature wind tunnels, called “arc jets”. The arc jets are used to test heatshield materials which protect spacecraft from the extreme heat that they encounter when they enter the atmosphere of a planet.

TFB’s facilities were used extensively for Space Shuttle testing and in developing the tiles for the Space Shuttle. They have recently supported testing for many of the Mars missions, including MER, MSL, and Phoenix. More notably, they have also supported testing for the heatshields on Genesis and Stardust (both probes that recently returned to Earth), and RCC repairs for Return to Flight. Currently, TFB’s major customers are from within the Orion program.

Ms. Imelda Terrazas-Salinas received her BS in General Engineering and MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics concurrently from Stanford University in 1987.
Her profile is also featured on NASA Quest website.





NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) is located at Moffett Field, California in the heart of “Silicon Valley”. Ames was founded December 20, 1939 as an aircraft research laboratory by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and in 1958 became part of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

NASA Ames specializes in research geared toward creating new knowledge and new technologies that span the spectrum of NASA interests.

For more information, visit NASA Ames Research Center home page.