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Saru

NASA tests rotary wing space capsules

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NASA is investigating the possibility of using helicopter-style rotary blades for capsule re-entry.

NASA engineers are testing out a new version of an old idea: fitting rotary wings to a space capsule for a helicopter-like re-entry method.

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The challenge will be the re-entry phase and transition to subsonic speed during which the blades must be stowed. They will have to figure out a way to keep the blades out of the airflow and then deploy them when the craft is going slow enough. The flying part should be fairly straightforward.

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I see this as a million dollar experimental project which will be cut from further budget, due to lack of true viability.

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They will have to figure out a way to keep the blades out of the airflow and then deploy them when the craft is going slow enough.

As Saru's original post says, this is an old idea being reinvestigated. A company (now bankrupt) called Rotary Rocket solved many of these problems back in the '90s. The even made 3 test flights of their "Roton" vehicle in 1999.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_Rocket

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As Saru's original post says, this is an old idea being reinvestigated. A company (now bankrupt) called Rotary Rocket solved many of these problems back in the '90s. The even made 3 test flights of their "Roton" vehicle in 1999.

Source: http://en.wikipedia....i/Rotary_Rocket

As I recall this prototype was very unstable and was very hard to see the ground to fly by sight. They also played with a Para-glider type parachute that showed promise , but was dropped as the leaders didn't like the idea. And didn't the Roton also have a capsule spin that was hard to control ? I'm working from memory here.

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