NASA's Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator

NASA's new Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) project is the latest way to take on the heat of entry that spacecraft encounter when entering the atmosphere of a planet.


(NASA's Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator )

Now being prepared for a demonstration flight under the HIAD initiative is the Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment Three, or in NASA lingo, IRVE-3. IRVE work is one endeavor within OCT’s Game Changing Development program.

This technology would be ideal for use on a number of proposed NASA missions, from Mars, to Venus, or even Titan, a moon of Saturn. Nearer to home, quite literally, HIAD-inspired know-how can be applied to returning payloads heading for Earth that are dispatched from the International Space Station.

“If a planet has an atmosphere…we can use it,” says F. McNeil (Neil) Cheatwood, Principal Investigator for the IRVE program at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

The objective of the upcoming suborbital test flight of IRVE is to show that a spacecraft hot footing its way back to Earth can use an inflatable heat shield—or aeroshell—to slow and protect itself as it enters the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.

Likewise, an inflatable heat shield would not be constrained by the fairing diameter of a launch vehicle, translating into a larger, more capable payload that can be flown.

Fans of golden age sf great EE 'Doc' Smith recall the ablative heat shield used in his 1934 novel Triplanetary; the device was used to jump from a supersonic plane traveling at 2,000 miles per hour at the very edge of the atmosphere:

Back toward the trailing edges then, to a small escape-hatch beside which was fastened a dull black ball... He gasped as the air rushed out into near-vacuum... He rolled the ball out onto the hatch, where he opened it: two hinged hemispheres, each heavily padded with molded composition resembling sponge rubber...

...He curled up into one half of the ball; the other half closed over him and locked. The hatch opened. Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward..

And as the ball bulleted downward on a screaming slant, it shrank!

...a synthetic which air-friction would erode away, molecule by molecule, so rapidly that no perceptible fragment of it would reach ground.

Via NASA Office of the Chief Technologist.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/15/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1978.

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1936.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.' - Jack Williamson, 1933.

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...' - James Blish, 1957.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.

Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.

Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither...'

Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.