Researchers Discover Safer Earth Re-Entry Thanks to Gundam
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
A new technology first utilized by Mobile Suits in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam could be the answer for safer travels for satellites re-entering Earth. Researchers tested out a real-life version of the series' "ballute" device on a microsatellite named EGG sent from the International Space Station. The hemispherical aeroshell device works like a heat-shielding parachute to ease EGG into the atmosphere.
Researchers announced the experiment was a success on June 23 and are looking forward to creating a version that is compatible with manned spacecraft, like Russia's Soyuz. This could lead to a lower risk of astronauts and spacecraft burning up from aerodynamic heating upon re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.
The device used on EGG is made from the same material as fireproof clothing. Once deployed, EGG slowed down and landed on Earth approximately three months after starting its initial descent. The aeroshell burned up, as expected, about 60 miles above the Pacific ocean.
Source: The Asahi Shimbun (Seiji Tanaka), Image via Entertainment Bible Vol. 2