Kennedy Space Center Partnerships

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Balloon (MARAIA)

The Rocket University team participated in a Johnson Space Center project to test the aerodynamics of a spacecraft called Maraia.  The Rocket University students designed and built the outer shell of the spacecraft, and a successful drop test was performed in August of 2013 in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The objectives of the drop test were to characterize the capsule’s transonic and subsonic free-fall dynamic behavior and aerodynamics, execute a full-scale autonomous pneumatic parachute deployment and recovery system, execute drogue-to-main parachute transition, recover the payload and capture video and sensor data.  The capsule was dropped from an altitude of more than 102,000 feet.  All test requirements were met with the exception of video and imagery due to a problem with the camera’s memory.  The recorded data from Maraia’s drop test has provided Johnson Space Center engineers vital information about the behaviors of various aeroshell shapes during reentry.  Johnson Space Center has asked Rocket University to continue collaboration on the next phases of the project.

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