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Ideally, no parts of a reentering satellite would survive their fiery return through the atmosphere, so testing is being used to understand how satellites break apart as they fall.
ESA subjected samples of typical satellite structures – such as the one shown, with a structural joint between two aluminium sandwich panels – to conditions equivalent to atmospheric reentry.
Use - Plasma - Wind - Tunnel - DLR
The testing made use of the Plasma Wind Tunnel of the DLR German Aerospace Center in Cologne and the Reentry Chamber of Austria's AAC company in Wiener Neustadt to produce the hypersonic winds and...
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