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Title: Testing lunar return thermal protection systems using sub-scale flight test vehicles.
Authors: Chen, George
De Jong, Christian
Ivanov, Mark
Ong, Chester
Seybold, Calina
Hash, David
Keywords: thermal protection systems
phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (PICA)
Issue Date: 23-Jun-2007
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2007.
Citation: 5th International Planetary Probe Worshop, Bordeux, France, June 23-39, 2007.
Abstract: A key objective of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration is to revisit the lunar surface. Such an ambitious goal requires the development of a new human-rated spacecraft, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), to ferry crews to low earth orbit and to the moon. The successful conclusion of both types of missions will require a thermal protection system (TPS) capable of protecting the vehicle and crew from the extreme heat of atmospheric reentry. As a part of the TPS development, various materials are being tested in arcjet tunnels; however, the combined lunar return aerothermal environment of high heat flux, shear stress, and surface pressure cannot be duplicated using only existing ground test facilities. To ensure full TPS qualification, a flight test program using sub-scale Orion capsules has been proposed to test TPS materials and heat shield construction techniques under the most stressing combination of lunar return aerothermal environments. Originally called Testing Of Reentry Capsule Heat Shield, or TORCH, but later renamed LEX, for Lunar Reentry Experiment, the proposed flight test program is presented along with the driving requirements and descriptions of the vehicle and the TPS instrumentation suite slated to conduct in-flight measurements.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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