Photo by NASA Orion Spacecraft on Flickr.com
The “Inflatable Attenuator” (LOFTID) technology’s low-Earth orbit flight test will take place on November 9. It is expected that the vehicle, whose mass will increase after launch, will reduce friction at the entry and exit of the Martian atmosphere.
One day, a spaceship must be created that can slow down enough for people to survive reentry if they are to safely land on Mars.
NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on the Red Planet in 2021 using a basic parachute and then safely exited the atmosphere. Larger vehicles, such as rockets with people inside, find the landing procedure quite difficult.
This week, NASA will launch a large inflatable heat shield into low Earth orbit in an effort to solve this issue. The Inflatable Attenuator (LOFTID), as the vehicle is known, would reportedly inflate before returning to Earth.
NASA projects that the heat shield might function as a massive brake to slow down a future Mars spaceship with the Inflatable Decelerator Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test.