NASA tests inflatable space heat shield –

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va., July 24 (UPI) — NASA says it has tested a large inflatable heat shield that survived a trip through Earth’s atmosphere travelling at hypersonic speeds up to 7,600 mph.

The Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment, or IRVE-3, was launched by sounding rocket Monday from its Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., the space agency reported.

The test was intended to show a space capsule could use an inflatable outer shell to slow and protect itself as it enters an atmosphere at hypersonic speed during planetary entry and descent, such as in missions to Mars, or in returns to Earth with cargo from the International Space Station, NASA said.

via NASA tests inflatable space heat shield –

I just like saying “Wallops Island.”

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