The reentry spacecraft and hypersonic cruisers of the future will require advanced lightweight thermal protection systems that can provide the dual functionality of thermal protection and structural capability. In the proposed project, Ultramet will fabricate a lightweight, reusable, highly efficient, multifunctional, structurally robust thermal protection system consisting of a high thermal conductivity, porous carbon/carbon body encased in a high temperature capable (up to 4500o
F) ceramic matrix composite skin. The proposed materials will not only be able to withstand the aggressive environments that are encountered during reentry or that are common to hypersonic vehicles, but they will also have the potential for structural capability when integrated efficiently with the main body of the aircraft. Through use of a cost-effective variant of Ultramet's innovative melt infiltration processing, the complexity and time required to fabricate the proposed thermal protection system elements to net shape will be reduced.