Hypersonic aerothermodynamics for a probe entering a planetary atmosphere is an important issue in space exploration. The probe experiences various Knudsen number regimes, ranging from rarefied to continuum, due to density variation in the planet's atmosphere. To simulate such multiscale flows, a novel hybrid particle scheme is employed in the present work. The hybrid particle scheme employs the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method in rarefied flow regions and the low diffusion (LD) particle method in continuum flow regions. Numerical procedures in the low diffusion particle method are implemented within an existing DSMC algorithm. The hybrid scheme is assessed using two hypersonic, blunt body flow problems: Mach 10 nitrogen flow over a sphere, and Mach 40 carbon dioxide flow over the Mars Path Finder each with a global Knudsen number of 0.002. Standard DSMC and CFD results are compared with the LD-DSMC hybrid simulation results. The hybrid scheme results show good overall agreement with results from standard DSMC computation, while CFD is inaccurate especially in the wake where a highly rarefied region exists. The LD-DSMC hybrid solution is able to increase computational efficiency upto 50% in run time in comparison to DSMC. And sensitivity to numerical parameters of the LD-DSMC method is also studied. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.