Inflatable Spacecraft

Those crazy russians scientists have outdone themselves this time and luckily for us Comsoverse have the skinny. In colaboration with members of the European space agency they have very recently test 'flown' an inflatable space vehicle. The project is called Demonstrator and it's hoped that it will offer an 'ejector seat' or life raft option for orbiting space stations and the like.

"The craft was launched into space from underwater, from aboard the Ryazan submarine in the Barents Sea. In a statement to the Associated Press, the Russian Navy explained that Demonstrator hitched a ride to space on a converted Volna SS-N-18 intercontinental ballistic missile."

The test vehicle was a 3' sphere straped to the front of the ICBM. Once the thing reached it's test altitude two sail like objects, one 2.5 meters high and the other 3 meters high, inflated one inside the other and the whole shebang floated back to earth. The russians are currently looking for it somewhere in the Kamchatka Peninsula... which is obviously on the russian pacific coast ;)

Just out of interest the same organisation are currently designing solar sails. Yay Babakin Space Center.

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