SCIENCE: NASA EPSCoR FY22 R3 Appendix I (CSC): A Recovery System for the KRUPS Re-Entry Capsule

Grants and Contracts Details


A recovery system for the KRUPS re-entry capsule The Kentucky Re-entry Universal Payload System (KRUPS) is a small entry capsule designed as a technology test-bed, built at the University of Kentucky. For this first incarnation, KRUPS was designed to test TPS material and instrumentation. KRUPS recently completed an hypersonic atmospheric entry flight, where two capsules successfully returned from the space station. The data obtained from the flight was temporarily stored within the capsules, and the transmitted to the Iridium network. The mission was a complete success, and the gathered data will be used to reconstruct the flight environment. Another flight of KRUPS capsules is planned in 2023, where 5 capsules will be testing various heat shield, as well as a new instruments designed to study the hypersonic shock wave in front of the vehicle. A new ejection mechanism is also planned. For all past and manifested KRUPS flights, the capsule was not designed to be recovered. The overall objective of the proposed project is to take the KRUPS project to the next logical step, and integrate the capsule into a recovery system. This include a precision orbital entry, followed by a guided parachute descent, concluded by an Unpiloted Aircraft System recovery. To keep this proposal within reasonable bound, only the retrieval system will be developed. It is expected that, after a year of active development, a demonstration of the retrieval system can be demonstrated through a suborbital sounding rocket test. Kentucky’s NASA EPSCoR jurisdiction solicited proposals from Kentucky university-led research teams to address NASA research needs listed as topics for the FY2022 NASA EPSCoR Rapid Response Research (R3) announcement (NNH22ZHA004C). This proposal is in response to FY22 R3 Appendix I: Commercial Space Capabilities (CSC) Research and the topic of I.1.2: “Small Reentry Systems.”
Effective start/end date10/1/229/30/24


  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration


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