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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Nov 20, 2015

Orion Gets New Heat Shield To Withstand Temperatures Over 2200°C

No journey is easy for the spacecrafts. The space presents the harshest of the conditions to these machines. NASA engineers are busy making their Orion spacecraft tough enough to endure them all. Orion is the next generation multi-purpose crew vehicle being developed by NASA for deep space exploration and the latest addition to Orion is the updated heat shield. The new 'coat' allows Orion to withstand temperatures over 2200°C.

This new thermal coat is called the 'thermal protection system' and its main job is to protect the crew and internal systems against the intense heat generated during spacecraft's re-entry into the atmosphere. Engineers are busy updating the shield for Orion's upcoming Exploration Mission - 1 aka EM-1. This mission will aim at having Orion remain in space for about three weeks and make a re-entry at a faster speed and hotter conditions.

Orion-Heat-Shield-NASA
Image Credit: NASA​

John Kowal, who leads the thermal protection system for Orion, informs that this system is crucial for future missions. The design team used the knowledge gained from Orion's earlier flight to upgrade the heat shield. During its earlier flight, Orion re-entered the atmosphere at speed of about 30,000 ft/sec and during the EM-1 it's expected to enter at about 36,000 ft/second.

It'd be important to note that even though the difference in the two speeds will be subtle, the heating will increase exponentially. The new coating will maintain the temperature ranging between -65°C to 287°C before the entry and also offer protection against electrical surface charges.

Engineers have also reworked the manufacturing process of the heat shield. The approach has been to reduce the mass of the spacecraft. Engineers have opted to make the heat shield using about 180 blocks instead of a single monolithic layer.

Read more about this update on official NASA blog, linked below.

Source: NASA
Ankita Sharma
Ankita Sharma • Nov 20, 2015
what if the forces in polygon law of forces are neither coplanar nor concurrent?
Ankita Sharma
Ankita Sharma • Nov 20, 2015
sir, what is meant by EM-1?
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Nov 20, 2015
Anki Sharma
sir, what is meant by EM-1?
This -
Kaustubh Katdare
Orion's upcoming Exploration Mission - 1 aka EM-1.
Ankita Sharma
Ankita Sharma • Nov 21, 2015
can u plz tell me why is the flywheel round in shape?
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Nov 21, 2015
Anki Sharma
can u plz tell me why is the flywheel round in shape?
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