Free-Flight Test of a Technique for Inflating an NASA 12-Foot-Diameter Sphere at High Altitudes


A free-flight test has been conducted to check a technique for inflating an NASA 12-foot-diameter inflatable sphere at high altitudes. Flight records indicated that the nose section was successfully separated from the booster rocket, that the sphere was ejected, and that the nose section was jettisoned from the fully inflated sphere. On the basis of preflight and flight records, it is believed that the sphere was fully inflated by the time of peak altitude (239,000 feet). Calculations showed that during descent, jettison of the nose section occurred above an altitude of 150,000 feet. The inflatable sphere was estimated to start to deform during descent at an altitude of about 120,000 feet

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Last time updated on August 3, 2016View original full text link

This paper was published in NASA Technical Reports Server.

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