Agreement supports NASA’s Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator technology, which is developing ultra-lightweight heat shields for maximizing payload delivery to planetary surfaces.
Outpost Technologies Corporation today announced that it has signed a Reimbursable Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA Langley Research Center for the use and development of their flight-tested Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) to provide industry-leading payload Earth return capabilities from orbit.
The SAA enables Outpost to collaborate with NASA on developing HIAD technology for safely returning Outpost satellites to Earth. NASA first developed their revolutionary HIAD to provide more options for planetary missions by allowing spacecraft to carry larger, heavier payloads and survive the harsh conditions of atmospheric re-entry. Outpost will expand the scope of HIAD’s capability for enterprise-class satellites to return to Earth. Through this partnership, Outpost will act as a commercialization partner of the HIAD technology to enable broad industry adoption.
“Earth return of satellites offers a new ability to lower mission cost by introducing reusability to the satellite cost equation,” says Outpost Founder and CEO Jason Dunn. “Conventional ablative heat shield tiles work fine on very large space vehicles, but at the satellite-scale they take up so much of the mass that very little room is left for payload. The fabric-based inflatable HIAD is a game changer because it magnifies our payload margin well beyond anything others are doing.”
“Developing HIAD technology could enable entirely new mission concepts to become possible,” added Neil Cheatwood, the Senior Technologist for Planetary Entry, Descent, and Landing at NASA Langley. “Leveraging the deep expertise of the HIAD team can help industry develop the technology needed to safely re-enter the atmosphere and navigate to the landing site.”