Mechanically-Deployed Hypersonic Decelerator and Conformal Ablator Technologies for Mars MissionsThe concept of a mechanically deployable hypersonic decelerator, developed initially for high mass (approximately 40 MT) human Mars missions, is currently funded by OCT for technology maturation. The ADEPT (Adaptive, Deployable Entry and Placement Technology) project has broad, game-changing applicability to in situ science missions to Venus, Mars, and the Outer Planets. Combined with maturation of conformal ablator technology (another current OCT investment), the two technologies provide unique low-mass mission enabling capabilities otherwise not achievable by current rigid aeroshell or by inflatables. If this abstract is accepted, we will present results that illustrate the mission enabling capabilities of the mechanically deployable architecture for: (1) robotic Mars (Discovery or New Frontiers class) in the near term (2) alternate approaches to landing MSL-class payloads, without the need for supersonic parachute or lifting entry, in the mid-term and (3) Heavy mass and human missions to Mars in the long term.
Venkatapathy, E. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Wercinski, P. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Prabhu, D. (Engineering Research and Consulting, Inc. Moffett Field, CA, United States)