A counterflowing jet design (a spacecraft and trans-atmospheric subsystem) employs centrally located, supersonic cold gas jets on the face of the vehicle, ejecting into the oncoming free stream. Depending on the supersonic free-stream conditions and the ejected mass flow rate of the counterflowing jets, the bow shock of the vehicle is moved upstream, further away from the vehicle. This results in an increasing shock standoff distance of the bow shock with a progressively weaker shock. At a critical jet mass flow rate, the bow shock becomes so weak that it is transformed into a series of compression waves spread out in a much wider region, thus significantly modifying the flow that wets the outer surfaces, with an attendant reduction in wave and skin friction drag and aerothermal loads.

This work was done by Rebecca Farr, Endwell Daso, Victor Pritchett, and Ten-See Wang of Marshall Space Flight Center. For more information, contact Sammy Nabors, MSFC Commercialization Assistance Lead, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to MFS-32604-1.

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