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Lockheed Martin scores success with landing technology tests for a future astronaut crew



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 20th 04, 03:12 PM
Jacques van Oene
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Default Lockheed Martin scores success with landing technology tests for a future astronaut crew

LOCKHEED MARTIN SCORES SUCCESS WITH LANDING TECHNOLOGY TESTS FOR A FUTURE
ASTRONAUT CREW EXPLORATION VEHICLE

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW, July 19, 2004

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has successfully performed a series of drop
tests at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz., to validate soft
landing technology that can be used for astronaut crew capsules upon return
to Earth. The technology makes use of an array of dual airbags that, upon
ground impact, releases air from the outer bags of the system, allowing the
capsule to settle softly to the ground on its inner airbags.

"This technology could be used in a number of ways, one of which would help
ensure a safe landing for our astronauts in new crew exploration vehicles
that are being considered for the future," said Michael Coats, vice
president and deputy of Space Exploration at Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
"These successful drop tests provide us and NASA with solid data on airbag
and landing technology that could be very instrumental in future crew
capsule systems. Whatever the requirements will be for a new crew vehicle,
the safety of our astronauts continues to be the number one priority in
every design we are considering."

The drop tests were conducted June 24-25 under Lockheed Martin funding to
demonstrate technology and risk reduction for space exploration. The 5,216
kg/11,500 lb capsule mass simulator was designed using the mass and center
of gravity properties of astronaut crew capsules that are being considered
for the future.

During a series of tests, the capsule simulator was dropped from various
heights and inclinations. The airbag system performed as expected with each
impact, demonstrating that the modeling techniques were right on target.
Instead of bouncing upon impact, the crew capsule mass simulator gently
settled to Earth after each drop on a "pillow" of airbags. Instrumentation
indicated that the short-duration deceleration forces would be very benign
for both spacecraft and crewmembers.

"Unlike the Apollo program that limited the capsules to water landings, the
technology that we are testing today could allow a future crew exploration
vehicle to safely return the crew to land, providing more flexibility in
landing the crew and making it more affordable, as well," added Coats.

Lockheed Martin will continue to test the airbag and landing technology,
including future airborne drop tests, to demonstrate nominal and abort
reentry capability. The tests utilize an airbag system provided by Irvin
Aerospace of Anaheim, California.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered near Denver, Colo., is
one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space
Systems Company designs, develops, tests and manufactures a variety of
advanced technology systems for space and defense. Chief products include
space launch systems, defense systems, interplanetary and science
spacecraft, spacecraft for commercial and government customers, fleet
ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.
Video Clip: Drop Test - June 2004

Contact:
Joan Underwood, 303-971-7398,


--
---------------------------

Jacques :-)

www.spacepatches.info



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  #2  
Old July 20th 04, 03:53 PM
Jeff Findley
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Default Lockheed Martin scores success with landing technology tests for a future astronaut crew


"Jacques van Oene" wrote in message
...
LOCKHEED MARTIN SCORES SUCCESS WITH LANDING TECHNOLOGY TESTS FOR A FUTURE
ASTRONAUT CREW EXPLORATION VEHICLE

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW, July 19, 2004

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has successfully performed a series of drop
tests at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz., to validate

soft
landing technology that can be used for astronaut crew capsules upon

return
to Earth. The technology makes use of an array of dual airbags that, upon
ground impact, releases air from the outer bags of the system, allowing

the
capsule to settle softly to the ground on its inner airbags.


Interesting. Real testing being done with capsule applications. This seems
to indicate that Lockheed Martin seriously believes that the CEV will be a
capsule based design, not some winged or lifting body design that NASA was
in love with from the late 60's through the 90's.

How many times has the discussion come up in these groups where capsules are
"put down" due to their harsh landing mode (with previous capsules used to
"prove" that this is so). Using this dual airbag technology seems to
eliminate this problem.

Jeff
--
Remove icky phrase from email address to get a valid address.



  #3  
Old July 20th 04, 06:09 PM
Derek Lyons
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Default Lockheed Martin scores success with landing technology tests for a future astronaut crew

"Jeff Findley" wrote:
Interesting. Real testing being done with capsule applications. This seems
to indicate that Lockheed Martin seriously believes that the CEV will be a
capsule based design, not some winged or lifting body design that NASA was
in love with from the late 60's through the 90's.


Either that, or they are looking ahead to getting into the
Tourism/CATS race if it takes off, either as airframe providers or
technology licenses.

How many times has the discussion come up in these groups where capsules are
"put down" due to their harsh landing mode (with previous capsules used to
"prove" that this is so). Using this dual airbag technology seems to
eliminate this problem.


We don't know how harsh a landing this technology provides.

D.
--
Touch-twice life. Eat. Drink. Laugh.
  #4  
Old July 20th 04, 06:21 PM
Jeff Findley
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Default Lockheed Martin scores success with landing technology tests for a future astronaut crew


"Derek Lyons" wrote in message
...
"Jeff Findley" wrote:
Interesting. Real testing being done with capsule applications. This

seems
to indicate that Lockheed Martin seriously believes that the CEV will be

a
capsule based design, not some winged or lifting body design that NASA

was
in love with from the late 60's through the 90's.


Either that, or they are looking ahead to getting into the
Tourism/CATS race if it takes off, either as airframe providers or
technology licenses.


Perhaps. At the very least, their lawyers could make the company some money
by suing the startups for every piece of technology in them that vaguely
resembles a Lockheed Martin patent. Even if the suits eventually fail, they
will have done considerable damage in terms of CATS.

How many times has the discussion come up in these groups where capsules

are
"put down" due to their harsh landing mode (with previous capsules used

to
"prove" that this is so). Using this dual airbag technology seems to
eliminate this problem.


We don't know how harsh a landing this technology provides.


While this is true (press releases can easily be misleading), if it is going
to be applied to Tourism/CATS, I'd suggest that the tourism market's
requirements for a "gentle" landing are going to be less severe than the
"new NASA's". People will put up with quite a bit of punishment in the name
of "adventure". I live close to a "theme park" and routinely see people
show up at work with bruises on their arms and legs which they blame on
their recent visit to that theme park.

Jeff
--
Remove icky phrase from email address to get a valid address.



 




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