Many of the flow problems associated with flight vehicles designed to reach or return from space can not be solved computationally. It is essential to address them by experiment, in particular, by ground simulation of the flow. The requirements and most successful simulation techniques are described, and their important limitations are discussed. Two selected examples are then presented from the free-piston reflected shock tunnel T5 at Caltech: Dissociating flow over spheres and transition from laminar to turbulent flow on a slender cone.

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