Impact Bags


ILC Dover’s airbag systems safely return manned and unmanned space systems back to earth and deliver exploration systems to the Moon and Mars.

They have been used in the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover missions.

Impact Bags in Action

ILC Dover’s vented airbag technology has the capability to land extremely heavy payloads weighing more than 20 tons.

  • Protect astronauts returning to Earth
  • Extensible to land or water landings
  • Protect payloads landing on the Moon and Mars

Features of Impact Bags

  • Lightweight and compact system
  • Allows vehicles to be reusable
  • Protects astronauts and payloads

Mission Complete

The Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover missions relied on ILC Dover design and manufacture of a unique all-encompassing airbag system to safely deliver the Sojourner, Spirit, and Opportunity rovers to the surface of Mars.

Impact Bags in Action

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner airbag system, which will provide a safe landing for the spacecraft during any phase of flight, was put to the test over the 20-foot-deep Hydro Impact Basin at NASA’s Langley Research Center.

ILC Dover’s six landing airbags were inflated before the full-size Starliner test article was hoisted up by a crane and then dropped from a height and angle that mimicked what the spacecraft might encounter as it pushes off an Atlas V rocket during a launch or ascent emergency.

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