# Is the use of whipple shields on satellites common?

How common is the use of whipple shields or of any micro-meteor and debris shields in general for satellites in low earth orbit , I couldn't find any relevant statistics on the internet, a rough estimate would suffice.

• Maybe because the price of sending 1kg weight into space is \$2700 with the SpaceX. It was \$54000 with the space shuttle. – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 8 '20 at 23:19
• @peterh-ReinstateMonica Not sure what that comment has to do with this question – Tristan Jul 10 '20 at 18:01

MLI is a good example, used widely for the primary use for thermal control but has properties for a whipple shield.

Looking a little further will pay off: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whipple_shield cites

"There are over 100 shield configurations on the International Space Station alone, with higher-risk areas having better shielding."

and in turn leads to this reference https://web.archive.org/web/20130225001045/http://ston.jsc.nasa.gov/collections/TRS/_techrep/TP-2003-210788.pdf which has plenty of examples with ballistic limit equations for examples of MLI and other types of shield used on the ISS.

• To give a little context, there's roughly 30,000 pounds of dedicated shielding on ISS. – Tristan Jul 10 '20 at 18:02

In addition to @Puffin's answer, it is becoming increasingly common for satellites to opt for dual-purpose design, where various structural and other elements serve as shielding for vulnerable components. This is as simple as making sure structural shear panels can protect propellant tanks, radiators can protect wiring harnesses, etc.

To a degree, I would say it's reasonable to assume that just about every modern satellite in LEO has some degree of shielding, whether or not it's dedicated shielding that wouldn't otherwise be there if not for MMOD.