Author Topic: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL  (Read 4109 times)

Offline VSECOTSPE

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LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« on: 10/10/2022 01:06 am »

Happening this week...

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LOFTID is scheduled to launch Tuesday, Nov. 1, as a secondary payload with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís JPSS-2 polar-orbiting satellite from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

After hitching a ride to space aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket, LOFTID will inflate and then descend back to Earth from low-Earth orbit to demonstrate how the inflatable heat shield design can slow down a spacecraft to survive atmospheric entry. This technology could support landing crew and large robotic missions on Mars, as well as returning heavier payloads to Earth.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-invites-media-to-learn-about-inflatable-heat-shield-demo

Offline woods170

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Re: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« Reply #1 on: 10/10/2022 08:44 am »
LOFTID is not a mission to Mars. Does not belong in this section.

It is being discussed here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42483.0

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« Reply #2 on: 10/10/2022 02:12 pm »

LOFTID is an EDL demonstrator for large Mars surface payloads.  LOFTID wouldnít exist but for NASAís future Mars aspirations.  Folks interested in future Mars missions might not be following an Atlas launch thread.  And folks following an Atlas launch thread might not want a big Mars discussion in their thread.  Thatís why I posted it here.

Thereís confusion in some quarters on this site regarding whatís necessary for large Mars EDL.  Someone recently posted about using Orion to land on Mars, for example.  A little sunlight on LOFTID and similar work towards Mars, even if itís not an actual Mars mission, canít hurt.

Offline LMT

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Re: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« Reply #3 on: 10/23/2022 04:30 am »
LOFTID might have a role in fleet-scale SpaceX cargo delivery.

At a versatile LEO self-filling depot, cargo could be attached to inflatables for Mars transit (inflatable tug and landing tanks, and inflatable LOFTID-style decelerator). 

150-t, 8-m cargo would sit above an upscaled decelerator and beneath landing tanks.  Previously, NASA HIAD was modeled at 18.8 m for MAV with diameter of 9 m and wet entry mass of 56 t.

Given the greater mass of a Starship cargo, it might make sense to design such a LOFTID system to withstand repeated entries:  first for capture, then for landing.  A capture orbit could cut landing EDL speed from 6.2 km/s reference to ~ Viking's 4.5, dropping final entry KE roughly in half.
« Last Edit: 10/23/2022 05:11 am by LMT »

Offline LMT

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Re: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« Reply #4 on: 11/10/2022 09:13 pm »

Offline leovinus

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Re: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« Reply #5 on: 11/18/2022 04:18 pm »
NASA calls test of inflatable heat shield a success

Quote
Flight testing such a large aeroshell will also be a challenge. Del Corso said that NASA has looked at ways of demonstrating it by returning a Cygnus cargo spacecraft or even an International Space Station module.

https://spacenews.com/nasa-calls-test-of-inflatable-heat-shield-a-success/

Online TrevorMonty

Re: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« Reply #6 on: 12/16/2022 04:13 pm »
Looks like somebody is going use HIAD for returning cargo from space.

https://exterrajsc.com/outpost-to-develop-cargo-ferry-to-deliver-material-back-to-earth/2022/12/08/

NASA has awarded a Phase 1 SBIR Ignite Contract to Outpost for the development of the Cargo Ferry, an adaptation of their Earth returning Ferry satellite, to deliver cargo from space stations back to Earth. Outpost was the only awardee for the subtopic focused on rapid, reliable, and cost-effective re-entry capabilities.

Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« Reply #7 on: 12/16/2022 08:35 pm »

One SBIR Phase 1 award is anemic.  Those are puny and max out at $125K per.  If they get to Phase II, itís still capped at less than a million ($750K).  There is a Phase 3 that is more open-ended and may reach into the low millions, but theyíd be lucky if they could prove that they can deorbit a nanosat for that money.  (And probably not even that.)  SBIR is great welfare for study mills that never produce actual capabilities, but itís not for anyone trying to build substantive hardware or a revenue stream.

NASA needs to seed the industrial base for this.  ISS payloads wait weeks to months to return.  So will payloads on future commercial stations.  Gateway presentations point at this need, too.  None of them will ever compete with the timescale of terrestrial research turnarounds without an ability to bring back payloads more or less on demand.  Thereís no reason SpaceOps shouldnít go out in a COTS-like manner for such a capability from LEO.  ExplorationSys and SpaceTech can cost-share when the proposals or technology are at a scale or type that is also of interest for Gateway and Mars.  NASA can also help with testing facilities and landing real estate.

Offline LMT

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Re: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« Reply #8 on: 12/30/2022 06:48 pm »
Global Aerospace Corporation's Small Probe Reentry System (SPRS) using Enveloping Aerodynamic Decelerator (EAD) Technology:

It's an alternate inflatable decelerator design, with LEO and planetary applications for small payloads.

Patent:  Nock, K.T., Aaron, K.M., McRonald, A.D. and Gates, K.L., 2018. Enveloping Aerodynamic Decelerator.
 
« Last Edit: 12/30/2022 06:50 pm by LMT »

Online TrevorMonty

Re: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« Reply #9 on: 03/08/2023 03:26 pm »
Podcast on HIAD development and future.
http://fiso.spiritastro.net/telecon/Cheatwood_2-22-23/

Current customers (paying NASA for some technology development) are ULA for SMART and Outpost. Presenter also mention 3rd customer that wanted high DV version ie BLEO but didn't say who. Blue helped fund some of resent ULA mission so take from that what you like.

There are other companies interested in technology.

One thing that wasn't mentioned is if decelerator is reuseable and if so how difficult is it to refurbish.
« Last Edit: 03/08/2023 03:26 pm by TrevorMonty »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: LOFTID Demo for Mars EDL
« Reply #10 on: 03/09/2023 01:47 pm »
I can sort of answer that. When I asked last time, they said that it could be reused. The actual inflatable part is pretty cheap and could be replaced each time without too much cost. I imagine you could save a bunch of money by reusing the inflation mechanism and deployment parts.

Now this was almost a decade ago so probably before any significant ULA involvement, but informally I got someone to spitball that the inflatable part cost around $250k, IIRC. Less than $1 million. Of course they were still at the prototyping stage so no idea if that was flight like hardware or not.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2023 01:53 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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