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ATMOSPHERIC ENTRY OF MANNED VEHICLES,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
Pagination or Media Count:
The establishment of manned space stations requires the development of a reliable system for manned return to the Earth. The requirements of such a system are reviewed and compared with the characteristics of various atmospheric penetration techniques. While human deceleration limitations require the relatively low decelerations of gradual atmospheric entry i.e., shallow path, the aerodynamic shaping of the vehicle and the method of surface heat absorption or rejection can conceivably cover a wide range of feasible possibilities. This paper discusses problems of orbital departure and the establishment of the initial entry path, the dynamics of deceleration during entry, the aerodynamic heating of the vehicle surface, and the characteristics of various types of surface-protection systems. It is concluded that there are two types of feasible vehicles for manned entry 1 a blunt dense vehicle with little or no aerodynamic lift and a low-temperature ablation-cooling system and 2 a radiation-cooled vehicle using a very light drag brake or lifting surface to achieve highaltitude deceleration.Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE