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Capsule Reentry

  1. Dec 6, 2005 #1
    I have heard of a lifting reentry that is used for lessening the deceleration on reentry. Can anyone explain how this works?:confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2005 #2


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    Do you mean a lifting body? If so, the shuttle is a pretty good example. It simply means that the vehicle has aerodynamic qualities (in the case of the shuttle, similar to a brick :rolleyes: ) that allow it to undergo a controlled descent as opposed to just slamming into the atmosphere. That also involves space-borne manoeuvring ability in order to set up the initial approach in a favourable manner.
  4. Dec 6, 2005 #3
    Danger: Lifting reentry is a workable terminology and is better defined (IMHO) as a method by which the incoming space vehicle is given a projectile like flight plan rather than slamming straight into earth! Yes the controlling of height is the main benefit but significant heating problems emerge (especially at the first maxima) as well as lateral manouverablity problems.
  5. Dec 6, 2005 #4


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    Okay, gotcha. Thanks. I was thinking along the lines of the Dyna-Soar and such. (Yeah, I'm old... :rolleyes: )
  6. Dec 6, 2005 #5
    Dyna-Soar for a dinosaur :P - only joking I like the concept of the X-20 and it has a part to play in space travel history but look to the future now....its only just begun.....
  7. Dec 6, 2005 #6


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    Danger is essentially correct. "Lifting re-entry" simply means the vehicle has more control than just a ballistic re-entry, and the Space Shuttle is an excellent example. However, the Shuttle's geometry has its disadvantages. So other ideas are out there. The objective is a 're-usable' craft.

    http://www.mae.ufl.edu/cuip/areas%20of%20research/taskplans/Starkeyalternative%20baseline.pdf [Broken]


    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/Shuttlebib/ch2.html [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  8. Dec 7, 2005 #7
    I know that the shuttle uses a lifting reentry because it enters at a high alpha. But I am trying to find out how they do this with a capsule. Do they tip the capsule or something?:confused: I would like to see a diagram if one is available.
  9. Dec 7, 2005 #8


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    I've never heard of it being done with a capsule (at least what I consider a capsule, such as Mercury or Gemini).
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