Orbital Recovery with Expandable Pressurized Drag Bodies 630380
This paper is a parametric study of orbital recovery with expandable pressurized drag bodies for typical entry from a 300 nautical mile circular orbit. The drag bodies were constructed from coated René 41 fabric, and inflated with stored pressurized helium, followed by ram air inflation after maximum deceleration. General arrangements are presented. Payloads equal to 70–76% of gross weight can be recovered with drag balloons constructed from theoretical minimum gage fabrics; payloads equal to 60–68% of gross weight, with drag balloons constructed from available fabrics. Payloads decrease for larger and smaller gross weights.