Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Alexandre Martin


The Kentucky Re-entry Universal Payload System (KRUPS) is a small capsule designed as a technology testbed for re-entry experiments. For its first incarnation, KRUPS has been designed to test Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) and instruments in re-entry flights. Because of the unique environment a vehicle undergoes during re-entry, there is a high-demand for experimental data from re-entry experiments. KRUPS has been developed at the University of Kentucky (UK) over the past seven years to meet this demand. After completing sub-orbital campaigns, the first KRUPS hypersonic re-entry mission was attempted. The mission involved building three 11-inch diameter capsules each outfitted with a heat shield. After construction of the capsules, testing was conducted to prepare the capsules for the flight. All NASA requirements were satisfied and the capsules were launched to the ISS on board a resupply vehicle. After a series of events, the three capsules were sent into a hypersonic re-entry flight into the atmosphere of Earth. The flight was a success with thermocouple data collected from the capsules. The success of this mission brought the KRUPS project Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to a nine and demonstrated that KRUPS is a viable testbed for re-entry experiments.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Award 80NSSC19M0014 in 2019

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Award 80NSSC20M0047 in 2020

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Award 80NSSC21K0286 in 2021