NASA's New Hypersonic Inflatable Heat Shield

NASA’s Hypersonic Inflatable Decelerator technology, consisting of super strong balloons, has been in the works for several years.

How does something that looks like a stack of orange inner tubes covered in a black tarp survive temperatures reaching 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit as it plunges through the atmosphere?



An upcoming technology demonstration uses advanced materials to make a heat shield that’s tougher than it looks.

NASA's New Hypersonic Inflatable Heat Shield

Images credit NASA