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Latest Aeroshell Stories

2011-05-13 09:30:00

DENVER, May 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) aeroshell and cruise stage were delivered to Kennedy Space Center, Fla. yesterday. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) built the aeroshell and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory built the cruise stage. The aeroshell will encapsulate and protect the Curiosity rover during its deep space cruise to Mars, and from the intense heat and friction that will be generated as the system descends through the Martian atmosphere. PHOTOS:...

2009-08-17 11:54:06

The U.S. space agency has demonstrated how a spacecraft can use an inflatable heat shield to slow and protect itself during re-entry to Earth's atmosphere. The Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment was launched on a small sounding rocket from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia at 8:52 a.m. EDT Monday. The 10-foot diameter heat shield, made of several layers of silicone-coated industrial fabric, inflated with nitrogen to a mushroom shape in space several minutes after liftoff....

2009-08-17 10:35:39

 A successful NASA flight test Monday demonstrated how a spacecraft returning to Earth can use an inflatable heat shield to slow and protect itself as it enters the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds. The Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment, or IRVE, was vacuum-packed into a 15-inch diameter payload "shroud" and launched on a small sounding rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., at 8:52 a.m. EDT. The 10-foot diameter heat shield, made of several layers of...

2009-06-16 13:53:00

PARIS, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- PARIS AIR SHOW -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has completed production and testing of the heatshield for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The heatshield is half of the large and sophisticated two-part aeroshell that will encapsulate and protect the Curiosity rover during its deep space cruise to Mars, and from the intense heat and friction that will be generated as the system descends through the Martian atmosphere. In October 2008, Lockheed Martin...

2008-10-16 21:00:07

DENVER, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin recently delivered the backshell for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The backshell is half of the large and sophisticated two-part aeroshell that will encapsulate and protect the MSL rover during its deep space cruise to Mars, and from the intense heat and friction that will be generated as the system descends through the Martian atmosphere. Lockheed Martin has designed and built...

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2008-07-10 13:00:00

Scientists running the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, known as HiRISE, on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have processed more details in an amazing image their camera captured as the Phoenix spacecraft descended through Mars' atmosphere during its landing on May 25, 2008. New analysis has turned up what likely is Phoenix's heat shield falling toward Mars' surface, they conclude. HiRISE, run from The University of Arizona, made history by taking the first image of a spacecraft...

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2006-08-22 08:35:00

With gas prices sky-high, conserving fuel has become a national obsession. Accelerate slowly. Stop gently. Allow ample time to reach your destination. But what if you want to conserve fuel and still get there in a hurry? For a team of NASA engineers, the answer is aerocapture. Aerocapture technology is a flight maneuver that inserts a spacecraft into orbit around a planet or moon by using the destination's atmosphere like a "brake." The dense atmosphere creates friction, which is used to...

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2005-01-30 10:00:00

In this multipart series on the twin Viking landers that pioneered surface imagery and exploration on Mars, the events leading to the first and tense rocket-powered landing of Viking I are described. Astrobiology Magazine -- The NASA History Office has compiled a definitive account of the early robotic exploration of the martian surface. The account's first-person immediacy highlights particularly the pair of Viking landers that lasted for up to six years on the surface. AM excerpts a...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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