art & engineering

IRVE-3 Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator test

The Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment-3 (IRVE-3) is the third in a series of suborbital NASA flight tests of inflatable reentry technology.  It was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of using this new technology with significant reentry heating.  IRVE-3 launched at 7:01 a.m. on Monday, July 23, 2012.  The reentry vehicle entered Earth’s atmosphere at Mach 10, ten times the speed of sound, and successfully survived the heat and forces of reentry, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.

Langley Research Center IRVE-3 website 
Vidoe covering the building of IRVE-3

Flight performance video

What Bill Nye said about IRVE-2

Photo Credit: NASA ​ Pump Up the Volume

IRVE-3 Nosecone
Technicians at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va. mated the components of the Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment into the nosecone and sounding rocket.

Credit: NASA Langley/Kathy Barnstorff

Invitation to the Launch: Announcement

Other Press

NASA: eClips

Day of launch interview on YouTube
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