NASA announces first results of technology test for inflatable heat shields

WASHINGTON, November 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — NASA will host a media briefing on Thursday 17 Novat 2 p.m. EST to share initial results from the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) technology demonstration.

The audio of the call will be streamed live on the agency’s website.

The LOFTID demonstration took place Nov 10. Approximately one hour after launch aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, the LOFTID inflatable heat shield was deployed and began its demonstration. As LOFTID inflated, the Centaur upper stage rocket spun, detaching the heat shield, which then began its intense re-entry journey through Earth’s atmosphere. LOFTID landed roughly in the Pacific Ocean 7 o’clock in the morning

The inflatable heat shield technology being tested by LOFTID could improve the ability to land on worlds with atmospheres, allowing heavier payloads to land and safe landings at higher altitudes than currently possible. The technology has potential applications for missions to Mars, Venus, Saturn’s moon Titan and for returning large payloads from low Earth orbit.

The full investigation of LOFTID’s performance is expected to take approximately a year.

The team will share initial results from the demonstration during the call. The briefing participants are:

  • Trudy KortesDirector of Technology Demonstrations, Mission Directorate for Space Technology, NASA Headquarters
  • Joe DelCorsoLOFTID Project Manager, NASA Langley Research Center
  • John DiNonnoLOFTID Chief Engineer, NASA Langley
  • Greg SwansonHead of LOFTID Instrumentation, NASA Ames Research Center

Media will have the opportunity to ask panelists questions. In order to participate, media must register at least two hours before the virtual event Roxana Bardan at: [email protected].

The LOFTID project is managed and funded by NASA’s Technology Demonstration Missions program, part of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. The project is led by NASA’s Langley Research Center Hampton, Vain partnership with ULA and with contributions from NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabamaand Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. NASA’s Launch Services Program housed at the agency Kennedy Space Center in Floridamanaged the launch service.

You can find more information about LOFTID at:



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