Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Soil heat shield concept passes arc jet testing

Date:
September 27, 2012
Source:
NASA
Summary:
Arc jet testing under intense temperatures and pressures showed that heat shields made from the soil of other worlds will stand up to the conditions they would encounter plunging through Earth's atmosphere, researchers said this week.

An artist's concept of a spacecraft using a heat shield made from the soil of another world, called regolith.
Credit: NASA

Arc jet testing under intense temperatures and pressures showed that heat shields made from the soil of other worlds will stand up to the conditions they would encounter plunging through Earth's atmosphere, researchers said this week.

Related Articles


Michael Hogue, a researcher at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, led a team of engineers as they exposed samples of heat shield materials to an intense plasma wind known as an arc jet at Ames research Center earlier this week. The 2-inch by 4-inch shaped blocks were made from different mixtures of soil simulating lunar and Martian regolith.

The scientists recorded no burn-through or uneven erosion of the surface on any of the samples through a series of progressively higher energy levels, Hogue said.

The test results mean the idea of making heat shields out of the soils, or regolith, of other planets and moons remains feasible, Hogue said.

For mission planners in the future, the concept could produce a windfall of weight savings because spacecraft could make their own shielding on planets and moons where gravity is so low that it would take little energy to lift even a massive heat shield from the surface into orbit. Lifting material from Earth's surface and gravity well requires a great deal of thrust and cost, by contrast.

Applications could include an uncrewed spacecraft molding a heat shield on a Martian moon and then riding it through the Martian atmosphere to make a landing. The same principle could be applied to a large habitation module for astronauts or any number of similar missions.

The technology remains in its infancy, but with strong test results, Hogue and his team will be able to complete a report by the end of November and apply for continued funding to develop the innovation further.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "Soil heat shield concept passes arc jet testing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120927161010.htm>.
NASA. (2012, September 27). Soil heat shield concept passes arc jet testing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120927161010.htm
NASA. "Soil heat shield concept passes arc jet testing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120927161010.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will New A350 Help Airbus Fly?

Will New A350 Help Airbus Fly?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Qatar Airways takes first delivery of Airbus' new A350 passenger jet. As Joel Flynn reports it's the planemaker's response to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the culmination of eight years of development. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Parachutes Off Lawn Chair Airlifted By Helium Balloons

Man Parachutes Off Lawn Chair Airlifted By Helium Balloons

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) A BASE jumper rides a lawn chair, a shotgun, and a giant bunch of helium balloons into the sky in what seems like a country version of the movie 'Up." Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins