NASA to test centrifugal force satellite launcher

April 25th, 2022

SpinLaunch's kinetic launch facility at Spaceport America, New Mexico, has completed sub-orbital test launches with exit velocities over 1,000 mph. Image: SpinLaunch. NASA has agreed to test SpinLaunch's technology, designed to launch a satellite into space at hypersonic speeds with an electric centrifuge instead of a rocket. The company says that modern carbon fiber is […]

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NASA heat shield features a new design architecture

December 13th, 2021

NASA's ADEPT heat shield features a 3D seamless woven material from Bally Ribbon Mills. Photo: NASA. by Debra Cobb Heat shields are a critical part of vehicles for space exploration, enabling science payloads to safely pass through the atmosphere of distant worlds. NASA’s deployable heat shield design called ADEPT (Adaptable, Deployable, Entry and Placement Technology) […]

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Breakthroughs in textiles for the aerospace market

July 12th, 2021

Astronaut Nicholas Patrick participates in the STS-130 mission's third and final spacewalk as construction and maintenance continue on the ISS. Photo: NASA.  New fibers and composite technologies offer high-tech solutions in Space exploration.   by Marie O’Mahony In Space, from the needs of humans to rocket engines, advanced textiles are providing some of the most effective solutions […]

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PPE on earth and beyond

December 7th, 2020

NASA astronaut Anne McClain works on the International Space Station's Port-4 truss structure during a six-hour, 39-minute spacewalk to upgrade the orbital complex's power storage capacity. Photo: NASA. Spacesuits and medical protective apparel share the challenges of functionality and wearability.  by Marie O’Mahony A recent webinar series, “From PPE to Spacesuits” sought to help participants […]

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Serious about soft goods

October 7th, 2019

Presentations at IFAI Expo’s Advanced Textiles Conference explain textiles’ critical role in NASA’s missions. by Janet Preus NASA was among the exhibitors that also served as presenters at IFAI Expo in Orlando last week. In two presentations—an Advanced Textiles Conference education session, and a shorter, more informal “campfire” on the show floor— NASA representatives stressed […]

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The aerospace market

July 12th, 2019

As NASA sets a course for Mars and a return to the moon, and private companies engage in a new space race, textile companies find opportunities for high-performance fabrics and products.  by Amy Goetzman When does a single lemon cost $2,000? When it’s in space. NASA reports that it costs about $10,000 in fuel to […]

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In search of deep space textiles

February 12th, 2018

NASA needs textile manufacturing partners to support the success of future missions. While NASA still has its sights set on a Mars mission in the 2030s, a more imminent project is in the works. The Deep Space Gateway is a joint project between the U.S. and Russia to build a miniature space station in lunar […]

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NASA’s BEAM textile module will stay on the ISS

December 20th, 2017

NASA has decided to keep the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) on the International Space Station (ISS). The textile module will stay attached to the ISS through 2020, or possibly longer. The ISS crew’s studies have shown that soft materials can perform as well as rigid ones for habitation volumes and that BEAM has performed […]

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NASA develops alternative to pneumatic tire

December 15th, 2017

NASA has developed a super-elastic tire that may prove a viable alternative to the pneumatic tire. Created with future Mars missions in mind, the tires could also be used on Earth. The new tire is an evolution of the Apollo lunar ones and the spring tire invented by NASA’s Glenn Research Center and Goodyear. The […]

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NASA program facilitates licensing of spinoffs

July 10th, 2017

The job of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program is to support NASA spinoffs, i.e., technologies originally developed to meet NASA mission needs that have been transferred by license to the public and now provide benefits as a commercial product or service. NASA says that its online licensing system, ATLAS, eases the application process by avoiding the […]

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