Ballutes Studied For Hypersonic Space Vehicles

Global Aerospace has been given NASA funding to study the use of ballutes in planetary atmospheric entry and descent, aerodynamic orbital capture, and aerodynamic gravity assist. Ballutes (from BALLoon plus parachUTE) were invented by Goodyear Aerospace in 1958.

The company is developing a program called Hypersonic Control Modeling and Simulation Tool (HyperCMST). It will be used to study the problem of controlling the trajectory of different hypersonic space vehicles as they maneuver close to planets and satellites with substantial atmospheres.

HyperCMST will be used to develop a new type of ballute called a lifting-towed-toroidal-ballute for use in orbit capture or atmosphere entry. Most ballute concepts are used for braking; drag-only devices that cannot be steered. However, Global Aerospace hopes to manipulate the tether lengths between the spacecraft and the ballute to create aerodynamic lift, making steering possible.

NASA has looked at ballute idea before; most recently, their Fly Higher, Fly Lighter program (2004) aimed to use ballutes to lower the cost of putting a satellite into orbit. Taking this approach translates to using less propellant to slip a satellite into a proper orbit, lower launch costs, and makes more room on spacecraft for sensors and other payload gear.

Science fiction fans have already had a great look at the use of ballutes in the 1984 movie 2010, a sequel to the earlier film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Take a look at this video clip from 2010 showing the deployment of the ballute on the Russian spacecraft Leonov.


(Ballute deployment in 2010 movie)

From NetworkWorld; thanks to Winchell Chung for suggesting the story and the reference.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/16/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

NASA's Astronaut Rescue Ball
'Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward..' - Doc Smith, 1934.

NASA Asks For Moon To Earth Delivery Ideas
'Authority's 3-g catapult was almost one hundred kilometers long...' - Robert Heinlein, 1966.

Rapid Automated Search For Habitable Planets Needed
'I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1936.

NASA's Meteorite-Resistant Fabric Perfect For Space Armor
'The men who labored so feverishly there, were clad in heavy space armor...' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1932.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Bat Bot Robotic Flapping-Wing Drone
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread...'

NASA's Astronaut Rescue Ball
'Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward..'

ARM Wants To Build Brain Chips
'Slivers of microsoft, angular fragments of colored silicon...'

Sky Fence - A Drone-Proof Shield Created Over Prison
'There’s still a protective field over the whole thing. It volatilizes anything that tries to get through.'

Geoengineering The Atmosphere For Climate Change
'...a uniform temperature for each degree of latitude the year round.'

Archinaut Orbiting Robotic Factory
'mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Cryonic Preservation - The Last Perk You'll Ever Need
'Is there not also a law providing for voluntary suspension of animation?'

Computers Understand Humans By Watching And Modeling Them
Soon, your computer will be watching you... and judging you.

NASA Asks For Moon To Earth Delivery Ideas
'Authority's 3-g catapult was almost one hundred kilometers long...'

Musk Tunnels Wisely Restrict Drivers
Too many robots.

Robot Swarms Controlled With Augmented Reality
'You're not thinking in enough dimensions...'

MIT's C-LEARN Helps Robots Transfer Learning To Other Robots
'Talk Between Robots radio...'

Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

Rapid Automated Search For Habitable Planets Needed
'I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.'

WatchSense Perfect For Fat-Fingered Smartwatch Owners
'Now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components...'

Digital Construction Platform Robot 3D Prints A Building
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.