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SHARP is a NASA Ames project researching new aerodynamic shapes with sharp leading edges for the exit and re-entry of space vehicles. These shapes require new advanced ceramic thermal protection systems which NASA is researching in tandem.

The Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) has a cooperative agreement with NASA Ames to develop SHARP test re-entry vehicles. The Composites Research Group at Montana State University is building the structure of the SHARP S1 re-entry vehicle. This group of graduate and undergraduate students, led by Professor Doug Cairns, is designing and building the carbon/epoxy shell and aluminum tip (for ballast) of the S1.

The S1 is to be launched near Casper, Wyoming, during the August 12-20 launch window. The goal of the S1 flight is to test the flight systems and capture some of the basic aerodynamic properties of the SHARP body during re-entry.


NASA Ames Research Center
project coordinator, aero & thermodynamics

Stanford Univ. SSDL
electronics, data acquisition, telemetry

Wickman Spacecraft & Propulsion
launch vehicle

MSU special thanks:

Rocketman Parachutes- donated 2 specially reinforced parachutes & deployment bag, and kevlar lines

Big Sky Timber- donated wood for preform plug

Center for Biofilm Engineering, MSU: donated tubing for pressure sensor lines.

Slender Hypervelocity Aerothermodynamic Research Probe