Thermal energy is composed, by definition, of randomized carriers and is often an unwanted by-product of human-engineered functions such as propulsion, communications, and directed forms of other types of energy. This inherent randomness greatly impedes the ‘orderly’ management and control of heat, particularly when compared to electrical energy (e.g., power distribution lines) and optical energy (e.g., fiber optics). The thermal conductivities of common solids, for example, span only a few orders of magnitude, whereas electrical conductivities vary by ten or more orders. Further, chemical and electrical energy can be stored and released with relative ease, while thermal storage materials and systems are typically bulky and inefficient. Motivated by critical aerospace needs to develop transformative thermal management strategies-particularly for high-flux, episodic heat loads within the tightly weight-and volume-constrained environment of aerospace vehicles-this paper provide an overview of prospective strategies and technologies that can address these challenges by exploiting the transient nature of the required cooling while also providing insights into the commensurate uncertainty quantification and control methods that will be essential to their eventual transition to practical applications.