Electronic textile samples launched to International Space Station for 12 months of material resiliency testing

Juliana Cherston

October 2, 2020
9:00pm — 9:30pm ET


Link to Livestream: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/

On Thursday October 1st at 9:38pm,  a suite of electronic textile samples associated with the SpaceSkin project will be sent to the International Space Station for the first time on board the Cygnus NG-14 rocket. In a few weeks, these samples will be mounted on the exterior walls of the Space Station on the Japanese ExHAM facility for 12 months of direct exposure to the space environment, after which the samples will be returned to Earth for evaluation. Can electronic fabrics composed of conductive and piezoelectric fibers stand up to the harsh elements of Low Earth Orbit (atomic oxygen erosion, radiation, thermal cycling)?

This test is electrically passive—the sensors will not be operating in space. However, analog readout electronics (also unpowered) will also be sent as part of this payload. 

This evaluation is complementary to the hypervelocity impact ground testing campaigns, the project's primary focus area, where the sensor's capacity to detect tiny micrometeoroids and debris particles traveling at 10's of km/s is currently being established.  

See the SpaceSkin project overview page for more explanation. 

SpaceBD  has helped to coordinate this launch opportunity. 

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