Benefits Of Orbiting Spacecraft

1216 Words 5 Pages
Orbiting spacecraft need a safe, efficient, and cost-effective way of penetrating planetary atmospheres and landing without compromising the cargo or– more importantly– the passengers. In the case of planet Earth, orbiting vehicles generate a substantial amount of thermal energy upon re-entry into the atmosphere, and the management of that immense amount of heat is fundamental in providing a safe environment for the crew and instrumentation on board the vehicle.
The design of an efficient and reliable thermal protection system (TPS) is key, especially when considering the harsh conditions under which these materials must operate and the stresses they must sustain. Numerous advances have been made in developing non-ablative heat shields (those in which material is not removed from the composite surface by an external force), and there are several choices for spacecraft manufacturers when it comes to protecting their vehicles from high thermal energy.
My goal is to provide an
…show more content…
Carbon-Carbon Composite Properties
Carbon fibers are exceptionally stronger than carbon bulk material. These fibers have very small diameters, typically ranging from 4 to 10 micrometers, which in turn yield a relatively small fiber surface area. Flaws such as dislocations, cracks, and impurities, are virtually inexistent in a specimen of such size, and so the structure is virtually defect free.
Because the fibers are kept separated from one another by the matrix, they do not make contact, and crack propagation from fiber to fiber is negligible. Tensile failure of these composites is non-catastrophic: the carbon fibers fracture first, at which point all the load is transferred to the matrix phase; eventually, composite failure concurs with that of the

Related Documents