NASA says test flight of new heat shield a success

July 23, 2012

NASA says an experimental heat shield for future spacecraft landings has successfully survived a test launch that brought it through the earth's atmosphere at speeds of up to 7,600 mph (12,230 kph).

The demonstration launch occurred Monday at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

A high-speed Navy Stiletto boat is attempting to retrieve the 680-pound (310-kilogram) heat shield.

The purpose of the launch was to determine whether a space capsule can use an inflatable to slow and protect itself as it enters an atmosphere at hypersonic speed during a planetary entry and descent.

Explore further: Rocket to Launch Inflatable Re-entry Capsule

0 shares

Related Stories

Rocket to Launch Inflatable Re-entry Capsule

August 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Inflatable aircraft are not a new idea. Hot air balloons have been around for more than two centuries and blimps are a common sight over many sports stadiums. But it's hard to imagine an inflatable spacecraft.

IRVE-3 flight hardware test sounding rocket

July 19, 2012

NASA will launch an inflatable aeroshell/heat shield technology demonstrator on a Black Brant XI sounding rocket July 22 from the agency's launch range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Recommended for you

Image: Hubble sees a youthful cluster

August 31, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.