What’s Floating on the Lake?



In the lake at this year’s Space Symposium, we see a full-scale model (~6 meters) of the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator or LOFTID. Launched on a ULA Atlas V rocket on Nov. 10, 2022, LOFTID is a cross-cutting aeroshell approximately 6 meters or 20 feet in diameter. LOFTID separated from the Atlas V on a reentry trajectory from low-Earth orbit to demonstrate the inflatable aeroshell or heat shield’s ability to slow down and survive re-entry. Demonstrating this technology in these conditions is relevant to many potential applications, including landing large payloads on Mars and engine reuse on ULA’s new Vulcan rocket.


232701_LOFTID vs ULA REUSE_V3 221019_VulcanReuseProfile