NASA Invites Media to Learn About Inflatable Heat Shield Demo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) will host a media briefing on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 1 p.m. EDT in advance of the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) technology demonstration. The briefing will be held via WebEx.

LOFTID is scheduled to launch Tuesday, Nov. 1, as a secondary payload with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s JPSS-2 polar-orbiting satellite from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

After hitching a ride to space aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket, LOFTID will inflate and then descend back to Earth from low-Earth orbit to demonstrate how the inflatable heat shield design can slow down a spacecraft to survive atmospheric entry. This technology could support landing crew and large robotic missions on Mars, as well as returning heavier payloads to Earth.

The briefing participants are:

Trudy Kortes, director of Technology Demonstrations, Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
Joe Del Corso, LOFTID project manager, NASA’s Langley Research Center
John DiNonno, LOFTID chief engineer, NASA Langley
John Reed, ULA chief technologist

Media will have the opportunity to ask questions of panelists. To participate, media must RSVP at least two hours prior to the virtual event to Gerelle Dodson at: [email protected]. The briefing will be recorded and made available online after the event.

The LOFTID project is managed and funded through NASA’s Technology Demonstration Missions program, part of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. The project is led by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, in partnership with United Launch Alliance and with contributions from NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for managing the launch service.

For more information about LOFTID, visit:


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