NASA Planning For IRVE
August 15, 2009 Leave a comment
Nasa is going to test its revolutionary experiment. The 1400 sound IRVE ( Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle ) will begin its mission packed into a single column stowed withing the 22 inch diameter come of a Black Brant 9rocket. The inflable fabric surrounds a central instrument core like like a folded umbrella. Layers of Kapton film and open weave Nextel fabric, defence against the re entry heat. Researchers from NASA’S Langley Research Center in Hampton, are working to develope a new kind of lightweight inflatable spacecraft outer cell to slow and protect reentry vehicles as they blaze the atmosphere at hypersonic speed. They will test a technology demonstrator from a small sounding rocket to be launched at NASA’S Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Va. The launch is sheduled for August 17. The inflatable Re entry Vehicle Experiment or IRVE looks like a giant mushroom when its inflated. Engineers say the concept could help land bigger objects on Mars.
“We would like to be able to land more mass on Mars,” said Neil Cheatwood, IRVE’s principle investigator and chief scientist of the hypersonic projects within NASA’S Fundamental Aeronautics Program.”To land more mass you have to have more drag. We need to maximize the drag area of the entry system. We want to make it as big as we can, but the limitation has been the launch vehicle diameter.” He further stated that this idea has been around for 40 years and problem of heat (during reentry) has been solved because of advanced materials and we have enough understanding of Martian atmosphere from rovers and missions. Camera and sensor on board will document the inflation and high speed free fall and send data to research on ground. However, I think that this will help to improve our spacecraft and is next generation of spacecraft will be based on this technology. IRVE