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NASA will test air protection for spacecraft.

The U.S. space agency plans to test a special inflatable protective system for the members of space vehicles in atmosphere. Tests designated by 17 August 2009.

As part of the test NASA engineers plan to launch a special missile in Virginia. On board the launch vehicle will be located, with an inflatable shield (to assemble board fit in a cylinder about 40 centimeters in diameter) that provide a safe descent. A few minutes after launch at an altitude of approximately 211 kilometers apparatus separated from the launcher.

Then shield naduetsya using nitrogen. In working condition, it resembles a huge mushroom diameter of about 3 meters. The goal is that not only the sulky shield slows the descent of spacecraft, but will assume much of the heat during the descent.

According to experts, the idea of such an inflatable billboard is not new — it more than 40 years. However, suitable materials for the work have appeared only now. The new shield is made of polymer-covered Kevlar.

Experts point out that such a scheme in theory would allow the existing missiles to deliver, for example, on the same Mars larger vehicles. The point is that the size of Martian probes is largely confined to just the protective shield, which is now made of solid materials. In addition, the existing boards is quite difficult to place inside the rocket, because their diameter shall not exceed five meters.


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