Inflatable Antenna Experiment

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The deployed Inflatable Antenna Experiment

The Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE) was a NASA experiment that began on May 19, 1996, consisting of an inflatable antenna made of mylar which was launched from the Space Shuttle Endeavour during the 1996 STS-77 mission, in cooperation with the satellite Spartan-207.[1][2]

The antenna correctly inflated, separating from Spartan-207, before re-entering Earth's atmosphere a few days later, on 22 May. IAE was intended to pave the way for the development of lightweight inflatable structures for space applications.[3] The IAE was constructed by LGarde, Inc., an American aerospace company based in Orange County, CA.[4][5]


  1. ^ "IAE". Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE)". Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  3. ^ Steiner, Mark (NASA); Freeland, Bob (JPL); Veal, Gordon (LGarde). "Preliminary Mission Report: Spartan 207/Inflatable Antenna Experiment" (PDF). NASA GSFC. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "NASA Chief Technologist to Visit Tustin's L'Garde Inc Thursday". NASA News. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Cohn, Meredith (22 May 1996). "Technology on the Rise: Tustin Firm's Inflatable Antenna Passes a Key Test in Orbit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 August 2013.