by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral, Fla. (UPI) Oct 4, 2012
Researchers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida will try out a rotor system that could be used in place of parachutes on returning spacecraft, NASA said.
The design would give a capsule the stability and control of a helicopter, although the rotors would not be powered, the space agency reported.
Instead, wind passing over the rotors as the capsule descends would make the blades turn, a process called auto-rotation that has been practiced repeatedly on helicopters making emergency landings but never tried on spacecraft.
Researchers said they were starting with scale models of rotor-equipped spacecraft to gather initial results.
"The purpose of the testing we're doing here is to study how to get the rotor starting to spin," said Jeff Hagen, an engineer from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "We're trying to build as much of that story as we can."
The goal is to give real spacecraft a soft landing with enough control that they could touch down anywhere in the world like a helicopter, whether on a runway or the top of a building, researchers said.
"You can land gently and you can land where you want, you don't have to land out in the ocean," Jim Meehan, an engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said. "Compared to a parachute, you get a soft landing and you get a targeted landing."
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
ATK and NASA Showcase Cost-Saving Upgrades for Space Launch System Solid Rocket Boosters
Promontory, UT (SPX) Oct 04, 2012
ATK (ATK) and NASA held an event to highlight progress made in manufacturing the first ground test motor and cost-saving process upgrades for manufacturing the solid rocket booster for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). These changes have reduced assembly time by approximately 46 percent, saving millions of dollars in projected costs for the SLS system. ATK's Value Stream Mapping (VSM) proc ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|