Rigidized Deployable Lifting Brake for Atmospheric Entry

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNM07AA44C
Agency Tracking Number: 067275
Amount: $69,896.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: S7.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Andrews Space, Inc.
505 5th Ave South, Suite 300, Seattle, WA, 98104-3894
DUNS: 092968127
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Dana Andrews
 Principal Investigator
 (206) 438-0630
Business Contact
 Chris Hoeft
Title: Business Official
Phone: (206) 438-0602
Email: choeft@andrews-space.com
Research Institution
Aerobraking to reduce velocity for planetary capture and landing has long been assumed for use on Mars missions because Mars has an atmosphere, and the use of aerobraking minimizes the amount of propellants required from the Earth's surface. For Mars exploration missions, where large quantities of equipment will be required, an aerobrake that is adequate for the size and amount of equipment will need to be quite large. Unfortunately, carrying a large aerobrake to orbit requires either an unreasonably large shroud or an expensive on-orbit assembly process. Flexible aerobrakes have promise, but pressure-supported ribs with tension-supported areal TPS have potential flagging instabilities. Andrews Space, Inc. proposes an innovative aerobrake design that is deployable and rigidizable, meeting initial launch volume constraints and satisfying terminal aerobraking requirements. The design will include rigidizing foams as a key feature, adding a few percent to weight but greatly enhancing the capability to aerobrake oversized exploration elements. Andrews proposes to initially explore in Phase I a range of design options, using its integrated conceptual design tools and systems engineering processes to establish a preferred approach. That approach can be further developed and tested in Phases II and III to mature the associated technologies and design.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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