KRUPS-AMTSP: Additive Manufacturing of Thermal Protection Systems

Grants and Contracts Details


The Kentucky Re-entry Universal Payload System (KRUPS) is a low cost, re-entry vehicle developed by students at the University of Kentucky. KRUPS aims at advancing aerothermodynamic physics while serving as a universal payload system for upper atmospheric and micro-gravity experiments. The design of KRUPS has been ongoing for the last 6 years, starting from conceptual design to baseline qualications. Last year, KRUPS underwent several critical system validations by being tested in rocket ights. In February 2021, the capsule will be send to the International Space Station so that it can return on earth, and thus tested at orbital entry conditions. Over the last few years, NASA has started the development of several of small capsules, of various sizes, for various purposes. For instance, the REBR capsule (Aerospace Corp./NASA Ames) was designed to record re-entry breakup patterns for large orbital debris entering the atmosphere. REBR ew on several missions, with successful results on the great majority of them. Building on that, the Maraia capsule (NASA JSC) was designed with the purpose of providing a quick payload return option for the ISS. At the same time, both the Red-DATA (TVA/NASA JSC) and the SPRITES capsule (NASA Ames) were intended to test heat shield materials in ight conditions. The KRUPS capsule was inspired by these designed, framing the project through student research experience. With the recent successful mission, the KRUPS team is partnering with NASA JSC to use KRUPS capsules to test the next generation of heat shield. The proposed work aims at building a series of KRUPS capsule and use them to tests various 3D printed heat shields, on suborbital ights.
Effective start/end date11/25/2011/24/24


  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration: $325,027.00


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