Ablative Heat (Reentry) Shield

A single-use shield or covering designed to accept the heat of reentry and burn off. (Read the full article)

"Here's a VERY early reference to the idea that a space craft will encounter great heat as it moves through the atmosphere from The Brick Moon, published by Edward Everette Hale in 1870:
"I was to spend the winter in one final effort to get twenty-five thousand dollars more if I could, with which we might paint the MOON, or put on some ground felspathic granite dust, in a sort of paste, which in its hot flight through the air might fuse into a white enamel.""
(Bill Christensen 5/13/2005 3:59:27 PM )
"A flaw, you heat up on reentry, by compressing the air in front of you, thereby heating the falling object. "Airfriction" is a myth."
(Amber Thompson 8/8/2007 1:44:36 PM )
"As far as I know, the choice of a big, blunt-ended space capsule came when it was found that this kind of shape creates what amounts to an air cushion in front of the object as it falls. The capsule experiences less air friction along its surface and has less heat transfered to the capsule as a result."
(Bill Christensen 7/26/2009 8:42:46 AM )

More info on Ablative Heat (Reentry) Shield

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