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Sophisticated Balloons Could Help Steer Spacecraft 96

coondoggie writes "Getting spacecraft traveling at hypersonic speeds to slow down and land or achieve a particular orbit on a dime is no easy feat. But researchers are developing a tool that will let engineers model and ultimately build advanced flight control systems that meld balloon and parachute technologies known as a ballute (BALLoon-parachUTE). Basically a ballute is a large, inflatable device that takes advantage of atmospheric drag to decelerate and capture a spacecraft into orbit around a planet, according to NASA who is funding Global Aerospace to build such a tool."

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!