NASA selects firms for Advanced Entry System Technology Development

  • 06-Jan-2012 04:34 EST

NASA selected Airborne Systems North America of Santa Anna, CA; ILC Dover LP of Frederica, DE; and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. of Littleton, CO, to support agency inflatable aerodynamic decelerator research and development, including work on the Space Technology Program's Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) project. Inflatable aerodynamic decelerators are lightweight outer shells that slow and protect spacecraft as they enter planetary atmospheres. This technology allows increased payload mass, makes it possible to reach higher surface elevations for robotic and human exploration of solar system destinations, and improves cargo return capabilities from the International Space Station. Contractors will provide NASA with services for the design, analysis, fabrication, and testing of project systems, including the thermal protection system and inflatable structures for aerocapture and direct entry applications. NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, will administer the contracts for the agency.

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