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NASA X: IRVE-3 A New Way to Land on Other Planets?

NASA X: IRVE-3 A New Way to Land on Planets

Researchers have developed a revolutionary new way to land on other planets.

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NASA's High Energy Atmospheric Reentry Test (HEART)

NASA's HEART Animation

The High Energy Atmospheric Reentry Test (HEART) is a design concept for a flight test that would demonstrate a larger HIAD with a diameter of almost ...

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IRVE-3 undergoing tests in the Transonic Dynamics Tunnel (TDT) at NASA Langley Research Center

IRVE-3 Launch Highlights

A quick look at the highlights of the development and successful launch of IRVE-3.

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IRVE-3: Inflatable Heat Shield a Splashing Success

Third Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment launches, demonstrates design and technologies that could someday transform planetary exploration.

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HIAD: Changing the Way We Explore Other Worlds

    A giant cone of inner tubes assembled sort of like a child's stacking ring toy may some day help cargo, or even people, land on another planet, return to Earth or any destination with an atmosphere.

    NASA calls the inflatable spacecraft technology Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator or HIAD, for short.

    The HIAD could give NASA more options for future planetary missions, because it could allow spacecraft to carry larger, heavier scientific instruments and other tools for exploration.


Components of the IRVE-3


HIAD 101

The Big Picture

Illustrated HIAD reentry

Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators (HIADs)

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Pump Up the Volume

The inflatable structure is the HIAD's "skeleton."

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The Heat Is On

The thermal protection system is the HIAD's "skin."

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It's a Drag

Knowing how a spacecraft flies and how to control it make for a better landing.

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Launch and Land

Before the HIAD can explore it has to pass test after test.

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What's Next?


The HIAD is more than a one-hit wonder.

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