TPS 783x415

Brief:

We are developing a crushable material that can be used within an Earth Return Capsule (ERC) which is bringing samples back from Mars. The material needs to be of low density, low thermal conductivity and will absorb the energy at impact of the ERC upon landing.


Approach:

Our project goal was to design and develop a crushable material. The material will be used between the outside thermal protection system and the canister as part of an intermediate structure. The material needs to be low density, low thermal conductivity and will absorb the energy at impact of the ERC landing with the samples inside. We undertook a review of the requirements and constraints applied to the re-entry vehicle – mass, size, temperature, acceleration and loads.  We then derived the desirable characteristics for the crushable material and found a solution – samples are currently being tested.


Benefit:

  • Cost
  • ESA Green Space-manufacturing a more space friendly material
  • Creating a material that is easier to manufacture

 

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