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 November 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 November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Five minivans were put to the test in head-on crash simulations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Video provided by Newsy
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