HomeNASANASA — Scary House Tales to Inform within the Darkish

NASA — Scary House Tales to Inform within the Darkish

What goes up, should come down, and from area, with out burning up in an environment. That’s why we’re pumped for the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Take a look at of an Inflatable Decelerator, or LOFTID. Launching on Nov. 1, 2022, with the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Orbiting Satellite tv for pc System-2 (JPSS-2) mission, this know-how demonstration marks the following step in advancing an progressive warmth protect design that might someday be used to land heavy payloads – together with people – on Mars!

Animated GIF of an animation of mission highlights for the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID). We see the upper stage of the ULA Atlas V rocket reorient and position LOFTID for entry into Earth's atmosphere. The re-entry vehicle spins and separates from the upper stage. The inflated heat shield is scene descending toward Earth and motion lines behind the technology indicate the transmission of data during its flight.ALT

Listed below are seven issues to learn about this progressive re-entry system: 

1. LOFTID is the first-ever in-orbit take a look at of this know-how. 

Inflatable warmth shields, referred to as Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators (HIADs), have been within the works for greater than a decade. In 2012, the third of the Inflatable Re-entry Automobile Experiments (IRVE) launched on a suborbital sounding rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility, demonstrating a 3-meter (10-foot) diameter inflatable warmth protect.

Engineers at NASA's Langley Research Center are standing next to an orange stack of inflated test rings atop a stand during the final test of the inflation system in Jan. 2022. The inflation system is one component of the LOFTID re-entry vehicle demonstration.ALT

However the LOFTID re-entry car, at 19.7 toes (6 meters) in diameter, would be the largest blunt physique aeroshell to ever undergo atmospheric entry. Designed to resist temperatures as excessive as 2900°F (1600°C), this first-ever in-orbit take a look at of this know-how will show if it will possibly efficiently decelerate massive payloads – corresponding to crewed spacecraft, robotic explorers, and rocket elements – enabling them to outlive the warmth of re-entry at planetary locations with an environment.

2. You will discover out how this tech works in real-time.  

LOFTID is exclusive in that each one operations will occur inside a number of hours of launch. After the JPSS-2 satellite tv for pc safely reaches orbit, the LOFTID car will separate from the higher stage of the Atlas V rocket and start re-entry into Earth’s environment. If all goes as deliberate, the know-how will assist the car decelerate from hypersonic (greater than 25 occasions sooner than the pace of sound) all the way down to subsonic flight, lower than 609 miles per hour for a protected splash down and restoration from the Pacific Ocean. 

Whereas in flight, engineers at NASA’s Langley Analysis Heart will obtain location knowledge each 20 seconds and onboard sensors and cameras will document extra complete knowledge concerning the know-how’s efficiency. You may get a behind-the-scenes take a look at Langley’s Flight Mission Assist Heart the place the LOFTID undertaking group will likely be monitoring the flight take a look at at NASA.gov/reside following the launch.

Graphic of the LOFTID Mission Timeline and Flight Path illustrating the important milestones in the technology demonstration. The background imagery on the left is the launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. From the launchpad, the stages of the launch sequence and separation are identified by different icons and timelines starting with the booster separation, and moving through payload spacecraft separation, the aeroshell inflation and the Centaur upper stage orientation and spin. We see a rendering of the heat shield separating at L+70 minutes and LOFTID beginning its descent toward Earth. We see LOFTID's parachute deployed and its splashdown in the Pacific Ocean depicted at the L+125 minute mark.ALT

3. A lemon-sized capsule ejected into the Pacific Ocean will maintain key flight knowledge. 

The LOFTID re-entry car will document each sensor and digicam knowledge throughout its flight. The information will embody the temperatures and pressures skilled by the warmth protect and can illustrate how effectively the know-how carried out in the course of the demonstration.

Though the purpose is to retrieve the LOFTID re-entry car after it splashes down within the Pacific Ocean, the group wished a back-up possibility simply in case they’ll’t get better it. Enter the tiny yellow bundle referred to as an ejectable knowledge module (EDM) which may even document flight knowledge. The EDM will likely be launched from the spacecraft at an altitude of about 50,000 toes. It’ll free fall into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii and may land inside 10 miles of the spacecraft’s splash down location. A restoration group, that has practiced hide-and-seek of the EDM on land and sea, will use GPS to go looking an roughly 900-mile space of the Pacific Ocean to search out their “lemon.”

Four men are pictured wearing life vests aboard a U.S. Army Landing Craft Utility boat as they conducted a water recovery test of the ejectable data module for the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID).ALT

4. This warmth protect packs a punch. 

Though NASA has traditionally relied on inflexible aeroshells, parachutes, and retro-propulsion (rockets) to decelerate individuals, automobiles, and {hardware} throughout entry, descent, and touchdown operations, a advantage of inflatable warmth shields is that they take up much less area in a rocket, permitting extra room for different {hardware} or payloads. LOFTID’s aeroshell has been folded and tightly packed all the way down to 4 by 1.5 toes for launch and stacked within the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket payload fairing.

Close up of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V payload fairing containing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) as it arrived at the vertical integration facility at Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB) in California. We see the hand-painted JPSS-2 mission patch on the top of the fairing, the NOAA and NASA logos beneath, and then LOFTID mission patch underneath.ALT

5. LOFTID is devoted in honor of one among its innovators.  

LOFTID was developed as a partnership with ULA and is devoted to the reminiscence of Bernard Kutter, ULA supervisor of superior applications, who handed away in August 2020. Kutter was instrumental in advancing the inflatable warmth protect design and creating the plan to check the system on an Atlas V rocket. He was an advocate for each area know-how and increasing entry to area. Kutter’s NASA and ULA counterparts agree that LOFTID is unlikely to have made it to area with out his imaginative and prescient and keenness.

6. LOFTID is product of powerful stuff. 

Artificial fibers make up the inflatable construction, braided into tubes which might be, by weight, 10 occasions stronger than metal. The tubes are coiled in order that they kind the form of a blunt cone when inflated. The thermal safety system that covers the inflatable construction can survive searing entry temperatures as much as 2,900 levels Fahrenheit. Researchers used the identical heat-shielding supplies to create a fireplace shelter prototype for firefighters battling forest fires.

7. You can also make your personal LOFTID Halloween costume! 

Nonetheless in search of an out-of-this world Halloween costume? With a number of generally discovered supplies, like orange pool noodles and duct tape, you’ll be able to create your personal LOFTID costume. Nevertheless, we make no guarantees of defending or slowing you down from changing into the lifetime of the get together.

In front of the NASA worm logo on the stone wall outside the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington, is a woman wearing the make-your-own LOFTID Halloween costume. She wears black long-sleeved shirt, gloves and pants, and has yellow suspenders holding up a stack of orange pool noodles in the shape of rings meant to represent the inflatable heat shield technology.ALT

Observe @NASA_Technology for the most recent updates on LOFTID. Don’t miss our reside protection main as much as launch from the Vandenberg House Pressure Base in California. The NASA Edge JPSS-2 Tower Rollback Present airs reside on NASA TV and YouTube on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 12 a.m. EDT, and NASA TV reside launch protection will start at 4:45 a.m. EDT. 

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