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Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR): A materials processing space shuttle mid-deck payloadThe monodisperse latex reactor experiment has flown five times on the space shuttle, with three more flights currently planned. The objectives of this project is to manufacture, in the microgravity environment of space, large particle-size monodisperse polystyrene latexes in particle sizes larger and more uniform than can be manufactured on Earth. Historically it has been extremely difficult, if not impossible to manufacture in quantity very high quality monodisperse latexes on Earth in particle sizes much above several micrometers in diameter due to buoyancy and sedimentation problems during the polymerization reaction. However the MLR project has succeeded in manufacturing in microgravity monodisperse latex particles as large as 30 micrometers in diameter with a standard deviation of 1.4 percent. It is expected that 100 micrometer particles will have been produced by the completion of the the three remaining flights. These tiny, highly uniform latex microspheres have become the first material to be commercially marketed that was manufactured in space.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Kornfeld, D. M.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1985
Subject Category
Astronautics (General)
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:86487
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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