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IRDT-Fregat (Heatshield not deployed)

IRDT-Fregat (1st cascade of heatshield deployed)

IRDT (Inflatable Re-Entry and Descent Technology) is a new technology to return payloads from orbit without a heavy heatshield and parachute system. A inflatable cone provides protection during reentry and a second inflatable extension of the cone reduces the speed further for a safe landing.

The first test flight orbited the IRDT 1 payload and the Fregat stage, which was also equipped with an IRDT shield. The IRDT Fregat payload diameter after 1st stage inflation was x m and 2nd stage 14 m (acting as parachute).It was planned to bring back the stage with this device for investigation of possible reuse, but it has not been found, after it descended in a snow storm. Possibly it has been found by scavengers and sold as scrap metal.

Nation: Russia, Europe
Type / Application: Inflatable heatshield technology
Operator: ESA
Contractors: NPO Lavochkin
Equipment: IRDT shield
Configuration: Fregat stage with inflatable heatshield
Power: Batteries
Orbit: 581 km × 604 km, 64.9
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
IRDT-Fregat 2000-009B 08.02.2000 Ba LC-31/6 Soyuz-U Fregat with IRDT 1, Gruzovoy Maket

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