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NASA plans to use inflatable heat shields to deliver bigger payloads to Mars

Bigger is always better. The future astronauts really need a ton of gear if they want to survive on the killer planet Mars. NASA plans to use what it is calling a Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator, or HIAD.

That is basically an inflatable shield which is currently tested in NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center. They will use several rings or toruses filled with some gas and then those toruses will be covered in a heat resistant layer. This way NASA hopes to deliver way more payload than it currently does.