An Overview of EDL Technology Investments in the NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Program
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The Hypersonics and Supersonics Projects of the NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Program have as one of their two key applications the High Mass Mars Entry System (HMMES). As such, the two projects are pursuing fundamental technology investments in the general area of Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) to make possible some of the missions that NASA may want to pursue in the future but does not have feasible technical solutions today. The technology investments are principally focused on better entry systems, better prediction of the aero-thermal environment through the use / development of physics-based models and experimental databases, advanced materials for TPS, and decelerator concepts and ideas to go beyond the capabilities of the existing infrastructure. In addition, the Projects have created a thriving NRA community that is pursuing many of the same topics that are being considered internally by NASA. This talk will briefly describe some highlights of all of these investments and discuss some future perspectives for EDL work in the context of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.