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Rotors for Safe Reentry of Future NASA Capsules

19 Nov 2012, 01:50 UTC
Rotors for Safe Reentry of Future NASA Capsules
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NASA’s researchers are developing scale model space capsules at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. The models are intended to prove an innovative system of reentry using helicopter rotors instead of parachutes. “Well, this is taking the capsule entry technology and helicopter rotor technology and merging those in an innovative way to make something that didn’t exist before out [...]

An artist concept shows a capsule with a rotor blade system (Credits: NASA).
NASA’s researchers are developing scale model space capsules at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. The models are intended to prove an innovative system of reentry using helicopter rotors instead of parachutes.
“Well, this is taking the capsule entry technology and helicopter rotor technology and merging those in an innovative way to make something that didn’t exist before out of two things that did exist before,” said Les Boatright, an engineer at KSC.
The test at KSC has been conducted to study how to get the rotor starting to spin. NASA’s researchers succeed in slowing down the 2 lb (0.91 kg) unpowered scale model spacecraft in a drop test from 480 feet (146 m). The testing has also demonstrated that the airflow around the hinges is balanced, ...

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