Skip to main content

Questions tagged [materials]

Questions pertaining to materials used for construction of space-worthy objects.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1 vote
0 answers
65 views

Exploring DNA-Based Hard Structures for Space Applications—Looking to learn more

I recently had a fascinating conversation with a student about to graduate with a master's in microbiology. He shared that he’s lined up a job where he'll work on developing "hard structures"...
Twicks's user avatar
  • 216
3 votes
1 answer
160 views

What's that material on the Varda capsule that looks like cake sugar icing?

Watching and listening to this amazing footage of the Varda capsule's atmospheric re-entry, what is the nature and role of the material used on the parts not subjected to the high temperatures of ...
user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
118 views

What materials are used for human spacecraft pressure vessels and why?

I'm looking for what specific aluminum alloys are used for human-rated spacecraft pressure vessels (habitable module) and why. I've been able to find the material for Orion is Al-2219 but nothing for ...
Retsied's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
1 answer
135 views

The reason for using TiN on the perserverance's drill

Why did NASA use TiN coating for Perseverance's drill instead of coatings like TiAlN, AlTiN, TiAlCrN? I'm aware of the point of the TiN coating in terms of contamination, but it's a broad topic. ...
Mikołaj's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
200 views

What is ascent venting?

I am writing a report on CubeSat construction, and while reading Cal Poly's CDS I encountered the concept of ascent venting (or more specifically, the constraint that 'ascent venting per ventable ...
moooligan's user avatar
-4 votes
2 answers
175 views

How do companies get basic parts

I cant seem to understand how do get valves, tubes , bearings, o-rings or sensors for their rockets do they make them? Or from where do they get those?
Guest12345's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
758 views

What material is the wrinkled fabric(?) seen on the outside of some capsules and what is its purpose?

For example, the silver material on the Soyuz capsule Or the white wrapping on Canadarm and other robotic modules on the ISS My best guess is that it's beta cloth, used for fireproofing spacesuits, ...
Liam Dwyer's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
115 views

How close are we to a space elevator, materially? [duplicate]

Under the most advanced design of the SE, what are the values of the (tensile) strength and other qualities of the materials needed? What are those of the best materials we have in our hands now?
longtry's user avatar
  • 139
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

With what geometry would a McKendree cylinder be made of carbon nanotubes?

The goal of a McKendree cylinder is to achieve a larger radius than an O'Neill cylinder by using suitable very strong carbon allotropes instead of steel. The most obvious way to do this is to build a ...
J.G.'s user avatar
  • 275
3 votes
1 answer
91 views

What material can a maser sail design use?

A quick recap for photon sails: Photon sails are conceptual spacecraft propulsion systems that would generate thrust from radiation pressure. Types of photon sails include solar sails, laser sails and ...
Vegetable New Man's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
241 views

Is the use of Nylon in satellites a bad idea?

I came across a video of someone from Northrop Grumman talking about how they don't use Nylon in satellites anymore as it accumulates charge which leads to arcing ( ). I ...
hopper19's user avatar
  • 219
7 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is "aerospace grade"?

I recently asked this question. There, I was also linked to this other question. Both, however, could benefit from the answer to one fundamental point. What is "aerospace grade"? If ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
4k views

What makes aluminum aerospace grade?

So what is aerospace grade aluminum? Aerospace grade and regular aluminum are both aluminum. Do they have a different composition or strength? What makes one aerospace grade and the other one not?
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
84 views

Antenna wrap material suitable for lunar & cis-lunar environment

I am looking for a wrap (station) antenna for a transceiver (in space/lunar) Not all materials are suitable for the space environment. Does anyone know what wrap antenna materials I can use? I have ...
Anna Koroleva's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
100 views

What fraction of the Kapton thickness on the ISS' solar panels was likely eroded throughout their lifetime? Predictions? Measurements?

Background @Tristan's answer to How are the silicon PV cells constructed in the ISS's solar panels? Are they as flexible as they appear here? informs us that Kapton is part of the "blanket" ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
12 votes
1 answer
193 views

What are the moving particles that can be seen by the Parker Solar Probe?

There ate two images below from the Parker Probe, one of Venus and the second from the Sun. The second one is a screenshot from a recent video (Youtube of Parker imagery while in solar corona). In ...
KingsInnerSoul's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
605 views

Material used in LOX propellant tank

Most launch vehicles use aluminum alloy AA2219 for LOX propellant tanks, has anyone used AA6061 with additional coating instead?
suzi Venus's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
126 views

How well does wood thermally perform in space applications?

Wondering if there are any studies about using wood as a material for insulation in spacecraft? My specific question is does anyone have any experience with it working as an insulator? I remember a ...
Satsimmer's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
5k views

Could sheets of stacked graphene be used as part of a heat shield, since its melting point is 3000k to 5000 K

Since graphene material is the strongest manmade material, with "magical" properties, I wonder if it could be considered for use as a heat shield, since its melting point is 3000 to 5000 K ...
Emmanuel Mahuni's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
273 views

Coatings on spacecraft structures

Traditionally, aluminium spacecraft structures have been alodine-coated to protect the surface from corrosion and resistance to scratches. However, the last few years I've noticed that more and more ...
Jon's user avatar
  • 308
1 vote
0 answers
181 views

Apollo Cold Welding Mitigation

I am currently debating with someone on a different platform and he brought up the phenomenon "cold welding." I must admit that I had never heard of that before, so I have been reading about ...
Movybuf's user avatar
  • 19
7 votes
1 answer
292 views

Advantages/disadvantages of wood for surface of cubesat?

Generally aluminum and kapton are the exterior surfaces of a cubesat. A Finnish/ESA cubesat, the WISA/Woodsat was launched that has plywood panels. It has protection against offgassing and very low ...
300D7309EF17's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
421 views

Cubesat surface material

In wikipedia I read that the structure of the cubesat are made of aluminum alloys of 7075, 6061, 5005, and 5052. Is this the surface layer of the satellite or it is necessary to cover it with kapton ...
STM32's user avatar
  • 101
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

How reflective can laser sail coatings be?

A recent post mentions that laser sails, in contrast to solar sails, can cherry-pick coatings that are near-perfect reflectors in narrow frequency ranges. But how good is "near-perfect"? ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
25 votes
3 answers
5k views

How realistic is the 1 kg/km² solar sail in "Death's End"?

(This question has been migrated from the SciFi StackExchange.) From Cixin Liu's 2010 sci-fi novel Death's End (pages 68–69): "A radiation sail can be made very thin and light. Based on the ...
Quuxplusone's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
229 views

If a Space Shuttle tile deorbited on its own, what percentage of it's mass if any would remain in one piece until it reached the surface of the earth?

If a Space Shuttle tile deorbited on its own, what percentage of it's mass if any would still be in one piece if and when it reached the surface of the earth? The question was inspired by one of the ...
Matthew Christopher Bartsh's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
173 views

Is there a very light material that could deorbit without burning up?

Is there a very light material that could deorbit without burning up? I am thinking of a very light, strong, heat resistant thread, rope, net, or sheet that sheds heat so fast as it deorbits that it ...
Matthew Christopher Bartsh's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
246 views

Is asbestos abated before putting space artifacts on museum display?

Asbestos has occasionally been used in spacecraft and other space artifacts: In the Apollo reaction control system. In the igniter of the Apollo tower jettison motor. Vinyl asbestos floor tiles in ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
7 votes
2 answers
477 views

What have astronauts used rolls of Kapton tape for?

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 ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
14 votes
8 answers
12k views

Would a duct tape spacesuit be practical?

Spoilers ahead for season 2 of For All Mankind. Essentially duct tape wrapped around the body, over clothing which looks like standard NASA jumpsuits for pressurized environments onboard spacecraft. ...
user's user avatar
  • 1,663
4 votes
1 answer
403 views

What sorts of flexible materials are best for use in space (particularly on the moon)?

Maybe I'm wrong, but flexible solids like rubber have always struck me as something that wouldn't hold up long in a vacuum, or exposed to high radiation, or through big thermal cycling. What sorts of ...
kim holder's user avatar
  • 21.4k
3 votes
1 answer
279 views

How will the future Mars Space Suit Helmet design protect Astronauts from Martian Radiation?

Mars Space Suit Helmet Visor's were mostly made up of polycarbonate [1], the same material used for EMU's visor for performing EVA in earth orbit. Meanwhile, Mars' radiation is 2.5x higher. How are we ...
FutureMartian's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
91 views

Wondering about materials [closed]

I am currently designing a Revit project on the planet Mars I was wondering what a wall on a base like structure need to consist of to protect its from the planet atmosphere. any thoughts ? regards, ...
matt's user avatar
  • 11
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could a Mars surface rover/probe be made of plastic?

I wonder whether the structure of a Mars surface rover or probe could be 3D printed from plastics on Earth and then shipped to Mars for its mission. That is, 3D printed from the common materials used ...
Kozuch's user avatar
  • 1,463
2 votes
0 answers
134 views

Bronze material compatibility for mechanism exposed to LEO

I'm looking at using a worm gear for a latching mechanism on a spacecraft that's destined for a LEO trajectory. The mechanism is on the outside of the spacecraft, but the worm gear itself would be in ...
D. Hodge's user avatar
  • 165
4 votes
1 answer
668 views

Can or 'how long will' carbon fiber survive in space

Let's assume that social activist shut down metal mines in future. And we plan to built and launch another space station. Can we build it with carbon fibre? or is there any alternative to it? ...
Momobear's user avatar
  • 203
1 vote
1 answer
119 views

What were the Shuttle TPS repair patches made of?

Following the incident on STS-107, three methods of dealing with damaged tiles were developed. The method for large tile damage involved screwing a very thin plate over the hole, after loosely filling ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
828 views

Mercury reentry heat shields; material composition, manufacturing process and explanation of all those concentric ridges?

A collection of photos in posts by Miles Lumbard there is a page titled Mercury Retro Pack Walk Around Page 1 (spotted here in reference to the thermal zebra stripes) can be found nine images with the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
5 answers
432 views

Challenges and power required to make useable iron from iron oxide on the surface of Mars?

There is a very large amount of iron oxide on the surface of Mars within easy reach (once you are there of course). What would be the practical challenges to collecting this and turning it into usable ...
aflyingpumpkin's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
290 views

Why did Hayabusa-2's capsule's parachute have transparent panels?

JAXA's photo of Hayabusa-2's capsule, at its landing on 2020 Dec 6, shows that its parachute canopy had some non-opaque sections. Why? Transparency has no advantage for this mission. Compared to ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
3k views

How does steel deteriorate in translunar space?

To confirm the identity of a 1966 Centaur booster returning near earth in 2020, NASA took some spectroscopy observations. They didn't match those of the same metal (301 stainless steel) on earth, ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
173 views

Kerbal Gone Wild - Could a DIY team create a Mercury-scale orbital capsule?

Given how much engineering has advanced since the days of the Mercury program, could a similarly scaled single-person orbital vehicle capable of repeatedly sustaining 48 hours in orbit realistically ...
Kevin McLeod's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
199 views

What coatings are used for printed circuit board protection in space?

Which coatings are better for printed circuit board (PCB) protection in space environment?
Artem Lytovchenko's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
4k views

How hard is the hardest ice in the solar system? Is it in Pluto's ice mountains?

NPR's Pluto Has White-Capped Mountains, But Not Because There's Snow includes the following: "Initially, it seemed logical that this high-altitude frost could form like on the Earth," says ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
439 views

Did the Space Shuttle crew have to worry about monatomic oxygen?

Comments below this answer tell us that the Space Shuttle always remained in Earth's atmosphere. When it visited the Hubble Space Telescope or the ISS or Mir it was still in the thermosphere and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
0 answers
80 views

Have any satellites been decommissioned because of oxidization?

Comments on Are galvanised steel parts safe to use in space? mention that oxidation happens in the upper atmosphere because of the relatively high presence of oxygen ions. This is apparently to the ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
  • 5,324
6 votes
1 answer
423 views

Are galvanised steel parts safe to use in space?

Are galvanised steel parts safe to use in space (high-vacuum environment), e.g. washers, fasteners, nuts? I've heard that zinc can sublimate at low pressures.
Jon's user avatar
  • 308
6 votes
1 answer
513 views

Why would the Falcon 9 Block 5 carbon fiber thermal protection material need to be hydrophobic?

This answer to Nature of “the silky black 'highly flame-resistant felt'” on Block 5 Falcon 9's, and its intended functions? contains the following: This came into Falcon 9 design with Block 5 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

From what material and how are the Merlin engines and nozzles of it (sea level) manufactured?

I am specifically interested in the alloy used to build the engine, also about the nozzle: Is it just in one piece or welded using different sections. If they are welded then which welding techniques ...
Ak.pani's user avatar
  • 91
5 votes
1 answer
319 views

Why put chromium on the back side of this JPL-designed solar sail?

This 2013 JPL presentation Solar System Escape Architecture for Revolutionary Science March 2013 Conference NIAC Phase 1: 2012-2013 by PI: Jeff Nosanov Co-Is: Dr. Daniel Grebow, Dr. Brian Trease, John ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k