NASA Launches Hypersonic Inflatable Heat Shield Prototype
by SPACE.com Staff
Date: 23 July 2012 Time: 09:30 AM ET
The Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE-3) was
launched by sounding rocket at 7:01 a.m. Monday, July 23, 2012, from
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.
This story was updated at 11:04 a.m. EDT.
NASA launched a novel new heat shield prototype on a successful test flight Monday (July 23), a mission that sent a high-tech space balloon streaking through Earth's atmosphere at hypersonic speeds of up to Mach 10.
The test flight blasted off atop a suborbital rocket at 7:01 a.m. EDT (1101 GMT) from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. It sent a small capsule, called the Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment 3 (IRVE-3) into suborbital space, which deployed the inflatable heat shield and then plunged back down through Earth's atmosphere to splash down in the Atlantic Ocean.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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