Budget constraints and changing priorities may stifle these 10 NASA innovations that could benefit us on earth as well as astronauts
That's a Firewall
NASA recently made one of the most important decisions for the future of its space flights - the heat shield material that will protect future space explorers from the hellish heat of space travel.
The space agency went with a technology it was quite familiar with, a fiberglass, silica, epoxy combination known as Avcoat.
On the blistering return through Earth's atmosphere, the module will encounter temperatures as high as 5000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heating rates may be up to five times more extreme than rates for missions returning from the International Space Station, NASA said.
Mixing balloons and parachutes
This one has implications beyond the moon, but it also could be impacted by any space system cancellations.
Researchers are developing a tool that will let engineers model and ultimately build advanced flight control systems that meld balloon and parachute technologies known as a ballute (BALLoon-parachUTE).
Basically, a ballute is a large, inflatable device that takes advantage of atmospheric drag to decelerate and capture a spacecraft into orbit around a planet, according to NASA, which is funding Global Aerospace to build such a tool.
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