I'm writing a novel set 100+ years in the future. I'm looking into future materials from which spacecraft may be built. I read an article about Hydrogenated Boron Nitride Nanotubes.

I'm interested in knowing if this makes sense. I'm wondering if HBNNTs are suitable for structural elements, for the skin or hull of the spacecraft as radiation shielding, or its ability to withstand high temperatures as surface alloys of reentry bodies.


1 Answer 1


Hydrogenated Boron Nitride Nanotubes are being developed with the general aim of being used in various areas of radiation protection, including the hulls of spacecrafts. I am not qualified enough to answer this from a perspective of science, but for fiction, here is a reason why it is prefect for your requirements.

There are competitions called space settlement design competitions, where high school students collaborate to make somewhat feasible designs for a future settlement in space. Locations vary from Mercury to Low Earth Orbit to the surface of Mars. However, HBNNT is a not-so-commonly used material in these competitions, and often makes a proposal stand out because of its unique qualities. I am often in charge of the materials section in my team while designing such proposals, and it is a material I have found that is perfect for hull requirements. It is enough to pass scrutiny by a panel of judges who are NASA engineers/scientists, even though we are technically dealing with a mix of fact and fantasy. It should be good enough for your novel. Unless you were actually going to present the idea for construction, I cannot see why using it should be a problem.

  • $\begingroup$ Mike Tyler is specifically asking about whether or not HBNN's are capable of being used as structural elements in a spacecraft. He is not asking for a way to add them to his story. $\endgroup$
    – Phiteros
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Phiteros I am not sure that this isn't a valid answer to the question. It seems to me that it is, but it certainly frames the whole Q&A in a way that makes it seem more appropriate for Worldbuilding. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 18:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.