#SPACE

Carbon Fibers

AnalySwift and University of Central Florida work with NASA to develop thin-ply composites

Materials will be characterized and performance modeled for wide array of aircraft and space applications.

Perseverance rover landing previews touchdown footage

NASA’s Perseverance rover relays a high-resolution still shot of its descent to the surface of Mars. Rover indicates positive health reports.

Prepregs

Perseverance rover takes one step for composites on Mars

The rover’s successful landing on Feb. 18 begins a two-year science investigation of Mars’ Jezero Crater for ancient microbial life. 

Aerospace

NASA selects Firefly Aerospace for Artemis commercial moon delivery in 2023

Part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, Firefly’s Blue Ghost lander will deliver 10 technology payloads to the moon.

Testing

Northrop Grumman completes rocket motor validation test for Vulcan Centaur

The 63-inch-diameter graphite epoxy motor (GEM 63XL) was developed in partnership with United Launch Alliance to provide the rocket with additional lift capability.

Filament Winding

Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket reaches space

Air-launched, liquid-fueled rocket makes historical debut with successfully targeted orbit and 10 NASA NSP payloads deployed.

Design/Simulation

Orbex secures $24 million funding round for U.K. space launch

New funding secures roadmap to first launch of composites-intensive Orbex Prime rocket from Sutherland spaceport in Scotland. 

Carbon Fibers

Airbus qualifies Europe's first 5-meter deployable reflector for radar satellites

The unfurlable, parabolic, composite reflector offers significant advantages in satellite deployment and marks Airbus’s entry into the market for cost-effective and small radar missions and constellations. 

Thermoplastics

HX5 thermoplastic nanocomposite demonstrates electromagnetic shielding properties

Certified for use from rockets and satellites to amphibious transport vehicles, EMI testing indicates exceptional attenuation when bare or plated for shielding effectiveness.

Environmental testing completed for NASA James Webb telescope

Successful acoustic and sine-vibration testing ensures the composites-intensive space telescope will survive all of the harsh conditions associated with a rocket launch to space.

Additive Manufacturing

NASA looks to advance 3D printing construction systems for the Moon and Mars

Off-world construction is taken to a new level with NASA’s MMPACT project, which will test lunar soil simulant with various processing and printing technologies to determine 3D printing feasibility in space.

Defense

Airbus concludes Zephyr HAPS flight test campaign

The composites-intensive Zephyr HAPS satellite is a stratospheric unmanned aerial system, which, with this recently successful flight test, is one step closer to providing local satellite-like services.

Carbon Fibers

Successful integration of PocketQube satellites in 3D-printed composite deployer

The 3D-printed, composites-based AlbaPod v2 satellite deployer and nine integrated PocketQubes for the Alba Cluster 3 mission enable largest PocketQube launch to date.

ATL/AFP

Firefly Aerospace to automate composite rocket production with Ingersoll AFP machine

The company plans to transition manufacture of its Alpha and Beta all-composite launch vehicles to automated fiber placement starting in 2021.

Epoxies

Episode 34: Carmelo Lo Faro, Solvay Composite Materials

Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay Composite Materials, talks about how he sees aerocomposites evolving in the time of COVID-19, the rise of computational power to evolve composites use, the prospects for increased composites use in the automotive market, and the increasing importance of education in the composites industry.

Aerospace

Firefly Aerospace announces new customer agreements, completed acceptance tests

One step closer to launch, the Alpha launch vehicle passed Stage One acceptance testing. Spire Global and Geometric Space signed on as Alpha customers.

Prepregs

Vega VV16 rocket launches with Bercella composites dispenser structure onboard

The CFRP dispenser structure, developed for the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS), was successfully launched for the European Space Agency.

Aerospace

Hexagon Purus to produce high-performance composite pressure vessels

The subsidary of Hexagon Composites has been awarded a contract to design, develop, qualify and produce for a new major aerospace company.

Aerospace

U.S. Department of the Air Force-Boeing X-37B team recognized for aerospace excellence

The team received the Robert J. Collier Trophy for advancing the performance, efficiency and safety of air and space vehicles.

Nanomaterials

HX5 thermoplastic nanocomposite presents an alternative to aluminum for space applications

Alpine Advanced Materials’ HX5 demonstrated retention of 96% mechanical performance with exposure to five million rads of gamma radiation.   

Testing

NASA announces new James Webb Space Telescope target launch date

The observatory is expected to launch Oct. 31, 2021, a change resulting from technical challenges and the impact of the pandemic.

Energy Storage

Developing a linerless, all-composite, spherical cryotank

Infinite Composites Technologies’ Type V pressure vessel for storing cryogenic space launch vehicle propellants shows promise for eliminating elusive microcracking issues.

Aerospace

SpaceShipTwo completes second test flight

The VSS Unity’s second glide test continues collecting system evaluation and vehicle performance data to prepare the aircraft for powered spaceflights. 

Aerospace

Boron fiber: The original high-performance fiber

History and future developments for high-performance boron fiber.

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