NASA Launching High-Tech Inflatable Heat Shield Test Saturday

http://www.space.com/16615-nasa-inflatable-heat-shield-launching-saturday.html

When you think of the blistering, brutal re-entry temperatures generated by plowing through Earth’s atmosphere, using fabric doesn’t come quickly to mind.

But NASA is set to try some fabric out this Saturday (July 21), as part of a novel inflatable re-entry experiment that could find a variety of uses, both off planet and possibly in returning payloads from the International Space Station as well.

The Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment III, or IRVE-3, has been years in the making for all of 20 minutes of suborbital flight. It will be rocketed to high altitude above Earth from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility near Chincoteague Island, Va., then will dive into the Atlantic Ocean.

http://www.space.com/16619-inflatable-heat-shield-concepts-pictures.html

 

 

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