New Ablative Heat Shield Materials for Mars Landers 660654

TWO new ablative materials, designated SLA-741 and SLA-561, have been developed by Martin Marietta for Mars Lander thermal protection. The density range of these ablators is 0.18-0.22 g/cc and is substantially lower than that of other types of low density charring ablators. Plasma arc testing conducted in a simulated Mars atmosphere has established that SLA ablators are considerably more efficient than conventional ablators such as filled silicone, low density nylon-phenolic, or corkboard and that they form sturdy, erosion resistant chars.


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