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Protecting gear in outer space

March 1st, 2012 / By: / Industry News

Photo: ©2012 TenCate Protective Fabrics
Photo: ©2012 TenCate Protective Fabrics

Dutch European Space Agency astronaut André Kuipers joined a Russian cosmonaut and a NASA engineer on a December 2011 mission to the International Space Station, carrying a set of gear pouches full of sensitive, scientific hardware. The pouches, developed by Dutch companies Schonenborg Space Engineering BV, Noordwijk, and TenCate Protective Fabrics, Nijverdal, feature attributes that provide optimal protection and safety for irreplaceable equipment submitted to unique environmental conditions.

TenCate Tecashield® heat- and flame-resistant fabric pouches can protect equipment from environmental impacts, including electric arc, static electricity, liquid chemicals and even the shock and vibration inherent in the Soyuz spaceship’s lift-off from Baikonur, Kazachstan. The pouches’ ergonomic designs allow safe handling under conditions of weightlessness. Meta-aramid and para-aramid fibers (including DuPont™ Nomex®) give the pouches exceptional strength. The three space travelers plan to stay at the International Space Station for six months, so the pouches will surely go where few bags have gone before.