Off the Charts
- Muirhead, Brian K.
- August 2003.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available. and Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- NASA basically looked at the two options and said, "Well, propulsion...that's the old way of doing business. You guys will never get this job done if you do it that way. It's too expensive." And so we said, "Okay, let's go make this airbag thing work." The airbags idea was clearly eccentric. Off the charts. When you think of an airbag, you think of the automobile design, about twice the size of a pillow, which took many years to develop. But what we needed would have to be about 19 feet in diameter, designed to tolerate a head-on collision with a very rocky Mars surface at 60 miles per hour or more. And not just once, but multiple times, as it bounced and rolled to a stop. The only thing in common between our design and an automobile airbag was the name. Another very eccentric aspect of this was the idea of using fabrics in outer space. We were used to dealing in aluminum and titanium, but is needed to be the stuff of bulletproof vests...advanced polymer cloth. We'd worked with software in space, but not 'softgoods.'
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20030067680. and ASK Magazine, No. 13; 17.
- No Copyright.
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