Evaluation of reusable surface insulation for space shuttle over a range of heat-transfer rate and surface temperature
- Chapman, A. J.
- Oct 1, 1973.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- Reusable surface insulation materials, which were developed as heat shields for the space shuttle, were tested over a range of conditions including heat-transfer rates between 160 and 620 kW/sq m. The lowest of these heating rates was in a range predicted for the space shuttle during reentry, and the highest was more than twice the predicted entry heating on shuttle areas where reusable surface insulation would be used. Individual specimens were tested repeatedly at increasingly severe conditions to determine the maximum heating rate and temperature capability. A silica-base material experienced only minimal degradation during repeated tests which included conditions twice as severe as predicted shuttle entry and withstood cumulative exposures three times longer than the best mullite material. Mullite-base materials cracked and experienced incipient melting at conditions within the range predicted for shuttle entry. Neither silica nor mullite materials consistently survived the test series with unbroken waterproof surfaces. Surface temperatures for a silica and a mullite material followed a trend expected for noncatalytic surfaces, whereas surface temperatures for a second mullite material appeared to follow a trend expected for a catalytic surface.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19730023732., Accession ID: 73N32465., NASA-TM-X-2823., and L-8787.
- No Copyright.
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