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Organic contamination of LDEFA brown stain of varying thickness was present on most of the exterior surface of the retrieved Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF). Tape lifts of Earth-end LDEF surfaces taken showed that the surface particle cleanliness immediately after retrieval was very good, but faint footprints of the tape strips on the tested surfaces indicated a very faint film was removed by the tape. Solvent wipes of these surfaces showed that the stain was not amenable to standard organic solvent removal. Infrared spectra of optical windows from tray E5 show that the organic film is hydrocarbon in composition, but is not similar to the oil that seeped from tray C12. Very dark and heavy deposits of the stain is present at openings and vents to the interior of LDEF. Heavy brown and blue-green deposits are present in the interior of LDEF where sunlight penetrated through cracks and vent openings. The exterior of LDEF had significant areas painted with a white polyurethane paint for thermal control, and almost all of the interior was painted with a black polyurethane paint. Brown staining is consistent with outgassing of hydrocarbons from these paints by rapid solar UV induced polymerization of the outgassed hydrocarbons when they hit sunlight exposed areas.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Harvey, Gale A.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: First LDEF Post-Retrieval Symposium Abstracts
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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