June 17, 2016 / Modified sep 13, 2016 11:58 a.m.

Episode 33: Flying at Mach 5 or Faster Can be a Pretty Hot Ride

Originally Aired June 17, 2016

The brave new world of hypersonic vehicles for space exploration is upon us. But to protect these aircraft from extreme heat at speeds of Mach 5 or more, new and sophisticated thermal protection systems that don't vaporize at high temperature are needed. And that's where Dr Corral comes in. She is among a handful of scientists around the globe working to come up with the next generation of thermal protection systems for hypersonic flight that exceeds five times the speed of sound at more than thirty-two-hundred miles an hour. Dr. Corral's research focuses on providing thermal protection for the sharp maneuverable edges of the aircraft which is the most vulnerable to high heat.


Erica Corral, University of Arizona Associate Professor for Material Science and Engineering
Tim Swindle, Director and Department Head of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

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