An image (also below) in an answer to the question "How often is duct tape used during crewed space missions?" shows a roll of the gray stuff next to a roll of Kapton tape, aboard the International Space Station. What do astronauts use Kapton tape for?

We already have the question "Why are crew EVA cuff checklists wrapped in Kapton tape?" (with answer), so no need to repeat that.

Yes, Kapton is used extensively back on Earth in the design and manufacture of equipment, but this question is not about that. It is about why the astronauts in space use it from a roll, either to make or repair something.

gray and Kapton tape

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just asked in the main meta: Question "url" with quotes displays the actual question title during edit preview but not when edit is saved $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 1:12
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: Thanks; that behavior seems new. I just tried about a dozen ways to fix it. What you see now seems to work, but isn't pretty. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Apr 28 at 1:46
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't it being used to stick something to the wall/divider/worksurface/etc in the background of that same picture? $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Apr 28 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ I added the astronaut-lifestyles because they might use duct tape for fun and personal projects. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 31 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ This questions has (one awesome but) far too few answers! I've encountered on this site numerous references to repaired satellites, including ISS. $\endgroup$
    – Vorac
    Aug 3 at 10:09

Kapton tape was used for various In-flight Maintenance (IFM) tasks on the shuttle.

The Kapton tape was used to repair the standoff cross paint delamination of the Mir Docking Module Axial Target (DMAT) during STS-79 (STS-79 CHIT 015). However, it was officially added to the IFM tool locker for STS-86 and subs.

Source: Shuttle IFM tool catalog ( https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/shuttle_ifm_tool_catalog.pdf )

The IFM Checklist has more examples of how it was used, but I have not found it online.


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