Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE) Archives | The American Ceramic Society

Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE)

Inflatable ceramic heat shield a success

By / September 3, 2009

An inflatable heat shield was successfully tested, demonstrating for the first time that light, flexible devices could be used to protect a spacecraft as it enters the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds. The outside of the shield is made of several layers of 3M’s Nextel heat-resistant fabric woven from thin strands of ceramic. This covers several…

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