DuPont has signed a Space Act Agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to jointly develop urethane foam insulation reinforced with Kevlar fibre for use in a variety of future spacecraft, including the new launch vehicle being designed to replace the space shuttle.
DuPont and scientists at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama will specifically seek to develop a process to incorporate Kevlar fibre into the cell walls of the foam, thereby enhancing the performance of the thermal protection systems used in the Ares 1 crew launch vehicle. There may be other uses for the material in future science and exploration applications ranging from vehicle TPS to inflatable structures.
“DuPont materials have enabled manned and unmanned missions into space for almost half a century, and we continue to work closely with NASA in helping solve their most pressing challenges,” said Thomas G. Powell , vice president and general manager – DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems . “We look forward to the opportunity to work with NASA scientists in helping develop their next-generation thermal protection systems.”
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