Author Topic: Vulcan inflatable heat shield test launching on Atlas V in early November  (Read 397 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Space Explored by Derek Wise Oct. 27th 2022

When spacecraft reenter, they need a heat shield to protect them from the immense friction and heat of speeding through the atmosphere. Usually, these are rigid structures, but ULA plans to use an inflatable heat shield to protect the engines of their Vulcan rocket and recover them for reuse. They’ll be testing out that type of heat shield next month.

JPSS-2 launch

This Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Deorbiter (LOFTID), a joint test between ULA and NASA, is scheduled to take place on November 1. It will launch as a secondary payload on an Atlas V launching out of Vandenberg Space Force Base.

The primary payload of the mission is launching JPSS-2 – a weather satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA. The rocket is in the 401 configuration, and it is set to be the final Atlas V to launch out of Vandenberg. Future Atlas launches, such as project Kuiper and crewed Starliner launches, are all set to launch from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.