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Inflatable Heat Shield Survives Hypersonic Stress Test

July 24, 2012
Reuters / Powered by
An experimental heat shield developed by NASA has survived a trip through Earth's atmosphere while traveling at hypersonic speeds up to 7600 mph (12,231 kph). In a test flight, the Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment successfully demonstrated that an inflatable outer shell can protect a space capsule as it enters an atmosphere at hypersonic speed during planetary entry and descent, or as it returns to Earth with cargo from the International Space Station.

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last updated on 2015-01-29 at 3:50 pm EST

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NASA's New 'Flying Saucer' Key to Mars Missions

NASA's New 'Flying Saucer' Key to Mars Missions

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RAW VIDEO: Mars Rover, Jettison to Touchdown

RAW VIDEO: Mars Rover, Jettison to Touchdown

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Space X Tests Dragon Parachute System

Space X Tests Dragon Parachute System

NASA (Jan. 17, 2014) — NARRATOR: SpaceX engineers prepared the 12,000 pound Dragon test article to be lifted 8,000 feet from Morro Bay, California and flown out over the Pacific Ocean. SpaceX employees worked around-the-clock on the days leading up to the company's parachute test. Heavy wind, dense fog and high seas along the coast of California didn't deter their enthusiasm as they prepared to test the parachute system that could safely splash down NASA's astronaut crew following an in-flight anomaly. Video provided by NASA
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