In all geologic time, the responsibilities are on our generation ... including you ...

§ 3.4.1 Aerobraking

In space transportation, there is no such thing as a "free downhill" because there's no friction in space. It takes as much fuel to come down (and insert into a circular orbit) as it takes to go up.

An exception could be if we use the Earth's atmosphere for frictional braking. We do this when spacecraft like the Shuttle return to Earth. The Apollo program entrusted their heat shields and calculations for high speed encounters with Earth's atmosphere. We've just never done this to brake an object in a transfer from one orbit to a lower orbit, whereby the object would pass through Earth's atmosphere briefly one or more times in order to reduce fuel requirements in its orbital transfer.

This would require an "aerobraking vehicle", which would basically be a heat shield with the payload held safely within.

The heat shield would need to be able to withstand high temperatures and pressures. Unlike the reusable Shuttle, such heat shields may be "ablative", i.e., allow material to be blown off of them, this material taking away much of the heat as well.

Heat shields for aerobraking may be expendable. We may not want to re-use it because that would require we spend fuel to raise it up to another high orbit. The idea is to save fuel this way, not spend it. However, fuel from space resources may become cheap enough to warrant re-use. Or, the heat shield could be used to export products to Earth's surface.

Indeed, one of the applications of aerobraking is sending fuel to low orbit to raise things up to higher orbits.

Aerobraking shields can be made from asteroidal and/or lunar materials, as covered in the section on manufacturing refractory materials.

The main issue of aerobraking is safety. We would have to make it very safe so that there is practically no chance we will accidentally cause anything to hit a populated area on Earth, just like we have done for Apollo and every manned spacecraft over the past 35+ years. Objects must be small so that they are relatively harmless if there is a failure. Since the Pacific Ocean takes up almost a hemisphere, objects may aerobrake above that ocean rather than above land masses. A rapid deployment rocket must be available in case an orbital insertion rocket fails after a pass through the atmosphere, or if there's a bad error on the way towards Earth. Objects can have self-destruct mechanisms if there is any failure at any time, e.g., before entry, after the first pass, etc. For example, the payload can set to self-destruct automatically unless systems are operational and they get the command to not self-destruct. There can be multiple self-destruct mechanisms. > Transportation > Midterm > Aerobraking


PERMANENT needs a PHP / MySQL (actually, MariaDB) programmer. Are you a PHP / MySQL programmer interested in getting into space development as a career, or already working in space development? Or do you know somebody else who might be interested?

There is an ongoing process to update this website in 2019 with a target relaunch in 2020.
This website is actually very out of date. Much of the website text content was written in the 1980s to early 2000s, but that's a different matter. As regards PHP / MySQL, some offline databases go into the 2010s, as regards professional publications, engineers, companies, etc., and this is what we need programming help with. We are updating our databases on people, organizations, publications, and other things, for open source space development for all.

The current status is we have some working databases which we have been using internally for a long time for organizing professional publications, and to track people (authors, R&D people, other professionals, quality volunteers, journalists, etc.) and organizations. We want to put information online for the general public pending a security review of the programming code.

Step 1 is fixing some bugs in what we already have, the PHP code. It is functional, and been used a long time, but there are some bugs.
Step 2 will be improving the system. Some small improvements would help its usability.
Step 3 will be a security check for putting it online for the general public to be able to access and use, but with reasonable protection against hackers.
After Step 3, the main mission is accomplished, as regards PHP / MySQL, though of course we hope to keep people engaged and happy, and the sky's not the limit.

This is a volunteer, unpaid role at this point in time. A limited paid role would be considered on a tight budget, such as for at least bug fixing with some minor improvements, and/or a security review of our code before it goes online publicly. If you or one of your friends or associates may be interested, please send an email to spaceprogrammer at ... of course this domain.

Reasons to do something yourself:

  • It will help save life on our special planet -- be part of the solution in your generation.
  • It will create and secure a better future for your children and grandchildren.
  • It could be an interesting, cool, and a fun adventure for your life!

You can join us and volunteer to help out,

... or ...

If you're short on time, you can just donate:

The Permanent Space Development Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
If you would like to make a quick donation to our humanistic cause,
then please click on one of the buttons below (which go to PayPal).

... or by cryptocurrency (which is NOT tax deductible), you can donate into any of these wallets:





... or ...

Suggest this website to other people and organizations.

To get updates on PERMANENT (occasional, not frequent), get on our mailing list.

For general or specific e-mail regarding PERMANENT, please use our Feedback page.

Leave information about yourself in our people, companies, and organizations database.

If you are interested in hiring our expertise, anywhere in the world, please contact us.
We have people in the USA and Thailand, and can travel or consult by internet.
You can call anytime, 24/7, at +66-8-1135-7977

Text by Mark Prado, Copyright © 1983-2021, All Rights Reserved.
Many website artistic design elements by Sam Fraser, Copyright © 1999-2021, All Rights Reserved.

Except where specifically stated otherwise,
Copyright © 1983-2021 by Mark Evan Prado, All Rights Reserved


P rojects to E mploy R esources of the M oon and A steroids N ear E arth in the N ear T erm

please see our

Site Map

to navigate.

For PCs, this righthand
side has a floating menu,
but if your tablet
or your PCs web browser
do not run
-- javascript --
then you must
-- navigate --
using the Site Map above.