This page was printed from

NASA tests new heat shield material

Swatches | December 1, 2021 | By:

The team behind the umbrella-like, deployable heat shield design called ADEPT (Adaptable, Deployable, Entry and Placement Technology) is testing out a new material to deliver science payloads on future missions to Mars and beyond. Called Spiderweave, the woven fabric will make it safer for larger vehicles to safely pass through the atmosphere of more distant locations. It can also be packed up at launch and stored in a compact space. Previous ADEPT heat shield iterations involved stitching together individual panels, but engineers found that could often lead to points of increased stress and other discontinuities. In Spiderweave’s design architecture, materials are continuously woven into the heat shield’s fabric.

Bally Ribbon Mills, Bally, Pa., developed the material as a part of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research program. In a recent test, it was exposed to temperatures above 3,000 degrees (F). Those extreme temperatures mimic the conditions a vehicle experiences when entering a planetary atmosphere. Photo: Spiderweave.

Share this Story