Engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, believe they have a solution they are currently testing – the Adaptive Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT).
ADEPT is a mechanically-deployable heat shield made of carbon fabric, which is flexible and opens like an umbrella. It recently passed a heating simulation test in conditions designed to mimic entering the Martian atmosphere.
You can find more information about the ADEPT project on the NASA website – http://gcd.larc.nasa.gov/projects/deployable-aeroshell-concepts-and-flexible-tps/
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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