NASA launches LOFTID heat shield tech; aims to help humans land on Mars

Space technology companies from across the world are aiming to expand the human diaspora on Moon and other planets. To eliminate the challenges faced by humans while landing on the celestial surfaces, NASA is reportedly testing a new technology which will, in the near future, help humans with landing on planets, like the Mars, quite easily.

NASA has launched LOFTID (Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator), a heat shield incorporated in the spacecraft, to deliver a safe and cool atmospheric re-entry after inflating.

As per sources, NASA has successfully conducted a final test run of the inflation technology, before its actual launch alongside a polar-orbiting satellite in the coming months.

For the uninitiated, after the launch, LOFTID will slope back to the Earth once the satellite enters the low orbit, followed by which scientists will successfully prove that the heat shield can reduce its speed and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere before splashing into the Pacific Ocean.

NASA, in a statement, mentioned that the inflation system technology is an element of the LOFTID re-entry vehicle which is developed in a way to slowly expand the aeroshell to its final shape, before reaching the Earth’s atmosphere.

According to reports, the test run was conducted using an inflatable volume tori stimulator, which operates using the same quantity of air as the flight aeroshell. The stimulation potentially ensured that the test runs are done in the same way the system would work during the flight, and that the inflation system responds as required during the routine anomalies and operations.

Imperatively, followed by the test-runs, the engineers will merge the system to the forward segment of the re-entry vehicle, equipped with parts connecting aeroshell to the flight electronics, inflation system, parachute system and data recorder.

For the record, components of the re-entry vehicles will undergo integration, followed by the environmental tests as part of the launch preparations.

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