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Goodrich to Provide Composite Technology on Reusable Launch Vehicle

  • Thursday, 19th February 2004
  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

Goodrich Corporation has been awarded a contract from NASA – Langley to supply an integral, high-temperature composite flaperon control surface to be ground-tested for use as a hot structure for future reusable orbital vehicles.

The contract is expected to generate $1.4 million in revenue for Goodrich over the next 2 years.

Goodrich’s Santa Fe Springs, California-based carbon plant will be manufacturing the test vehicle’s flaperon, which helps steer the vehicle. The flaperon will be made of Goodrich’s proprietary high-temperature composites. Traditional vehicles such as the Space Shuttle use thermal protection tiles on a metallic frame, the combination of which is quite heavy and costly to maintain.

According to Paul Walsh, Director of High Temperature Composites for Goodrich, “”Interest by NASA and the Department of Defense in composite technology continues to grow as space vehicles need to become smaller and more agile. New vehicles on the drawing board will fly at many times the speed of sound, which will cause localized overheating not only in flight but also when they re-enter the earth’s environment. Our lightweight ceramic and carbon-based composites are ideally suited to handle the heat generated by space vehicle reentry and also have the potential for military use. We’re proud to have been selected by NASA for this project that will truly take space vehicles to the next level of efficiency and safety.””

Goodrich’s Santa Fe Springs, California facility specializes in composite materials capable of withstanding the temperatures for use in a variety of applications from jet engine nozzles to space vehicle reentry surfaces.

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