Retractable Heatshield

I never heard or see until now, from this Project ! :eek:

look more a lifting body with variable surface

Thanks for posting Barrington Bond
The concept has been studied by NASA in the early 60s:

Tecnical report NASA TM-X-893, dated Oct. 1963:
"Longitudinal stability and aerodynamic characteristics of a reentry vehicle configuration having an extendable leading edge at a Mach number of 10.03 and angles of attack from 50 deg to 90 deg"



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That's interesting. But there were also other heat shield concepts being floated around even in the late 1950s. I saw a document at the Smithsonian a few years back which I believe was an AVCO proposal for an inflatable heat shield. I forget the name, but it was essentially a very high drag, low mass system. Sort of like a big umbrella that would inflate in front of the craft. I suspect that materials would have been a major problem, then much more so than now.
Heij, Blackstar,
AVCO made the following "umbrella-like" proposal for the Dyna-Soar program, under the concept name "Drag-Brake". (Source: NASA TMX-67562)


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That's it. I knew that it had an odd name, and "drag brake" is it. However, the proposal I saw predated Dyna Soar. It might even have predated Mercury--maybe 1956 or 57. I was struck by the fact that it was an alternative capsule reentry technology than what they went with for Mercury.

Thank you.
there's a NASA history interview (I think it was just a transscribed tape) with Max Faget and some others and they talk about, among other things, the diversity of pre-Mercury re-entry ideas. One was a steel parachute (IIRC an idea by some professor or some company) that Faget said he showed that would melt. I can't find it anymore. IIRC he also tested the oscillations of re-entry shapes in a water tank and iterated the shapes that way, and used jet engines to test heat shields.

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