HIAD is the name for NASA’s Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator technology. In the NASA HIAD game (available online and as mobile apps) students learn to control HIADs to land them safely back on Earth. In the game students have to navigate the HIAD while accounting for velocity of the HIAD, wind speeds, timing of inflation, and shape of the HIAD. Make a mistake and the HIAD could burn up on re-entry or crash when it misses the landing zone. The game has four progressively more difficult levels. The first level teaches students the basics concepts and skills needed to complete the game.
Applications for Education
Playing the NASA HIAD game could be a fun way for middle school students to see how velocity, trajectory, and friction affect spacecraft upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.