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06.22.05

Audio files with interviews about the Ames 'Arc Jet' facilities

Links to broadcast quality audio files and transcripts, May 4, 2005 interviews with Ernest Fretter and John Balboni, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., about the Ames 'Arc Jet' facilities and their use in returning the Space Shuttle to flight.


All questions below are linked to broadcast quality and other on-line audio files

1. Q: What is an Arc Jet used for? (29 SECONDS)

2. Q: What happens to a spacecraft when it comes through an atmosphere at high speed? (31 SECONDS)

3. Q: Following the Columbia accident a couple of years ago, what has NASA Ames done to tests heat shield materials that may aid in returning the Space Shuttle to flight? (57 SECONDS)

4. Q: Please tell us about the various Shuttle heat shield repair kits, and what you found out testing these kits and materials. (1:16 MINUTES)

5. Q: How did engineers conduct the tests of the heat shield repair kits? (58 SECONDS)

6. Q: What did you find out from these Arc Jet tests of the crack patch? (36 SECONDS)

7. Q: What is the 'patch' concept for Shuttle heat shield repairs? (1:37 MINUTES)

8A. Q: When you do a screening test on the plug, what do you do? (1:01 MINUTES)

9A. Q: What are the heat shield improvements you've seen over the years and what sort of heat shield designs do you think may be used in future spacecraft such as the Crew Exploration Vehicle? (1:21 SECONDS)

10. Q: Since there are different missions for the future spaceship, the Crew Exploration Vehicle, and its design is not yet been determined, what kind of a heat shield might the CEV require? (1:22 MINUTES)

11. Q: When a spacecraft is entering Mars' thin atmosphere, which is at that planet's surface is about equivalent to Earth's atmosphere at 100,000 feet, how is the heat of entry on the spacecraft's surface different than the heat of re-entry into Earth's air? (22 SECONDS)

12. Q: If you are looking at potential, future spacecraft designs, can you have one heat shield that would provide protection to a spaceship that would sometimes enter Earth's atmosphere from a low orbit, like the Shuttle, and sometimes return to Earth at higher speeds from the Moon or Mars? (44 SECONDS)

13. Q: Would some designs include the ability to change the heat shield, depending upon the mission, while keeping the basic ship the same except for the heat shield? (30 SECONDS)

14. Q: Why are arc jet facilities key enablers in preparing for space missions? (1:05 MINUTES)

15. Q: Please describe NASA Ames' arc jet facility. (58 SECONDS)

16. Q: What makes NASA Ames' Arc Jet Facility unique and important for NASA's future missions? (47 SECONDS)