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NASA picks "retro" heat shield material.

NASA has chosen the material for a heat shield that will protect a next generation of space explorers when they return from the moon. After extensive study, NASA has selected the Avcoat ablator system for the Orion crew module.

Orion is part of the Constellation Program that is developing the country's next-generation spacecraft system for human exploration of the moon and further destinations in the solar system. The Orion crew module, which will launch atop an Ares I rocket, is targeted to begin carrying astronauts to the International Space Station in 2015 and to the moon in 2020.

Orion will face extreme conditions during its voyage to the moon and on the journey home. On the return through Earth's atmosphere, the module will encounter temperatures as high as 5,000[degrees] F. Heating rates may be up to five times greater than rates for missions returning from the International Space Station.
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Title Annotation:INDUSTRY NEWS
Publication:Modern Applications News
Date:May 1, 2009
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