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Post flight system analysis of FRECOPA (AO 138)The unexpected duration for the flight of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) conducted CNES to create a special investigation group in order to analyze all the materials and systems which compose the French Cooperative Payload (FRECOPA) except the experiments especially prepared for the flight. The FRECOPA tray was on the trailing face (V-) of the LDEF and protected from the atomic oxygen flux during all the flight. However, the solar irradiation was very important with solar flux quite perpendicular to the experiment once an orbit. There was also a good vacuum environment. The objectives are to test the effects of the combined space environment on materials and components like: structure, thermal control coatings and blankets, electronic unit, motors, and mechanical fixtures. When the LDEF returned to Kennedy Space Center, a visual inspection showed the very good behavior of the materials used and it was noted that the three mechanisms to open and close the experiment canisters worked completely. Many impacts of micrometeoroids or space debris on the structure and on the thermal protections were observed. After FRECOPA was brought back to Toulouse, many tests were performed and include: working order tests, mechanical tests (tension), optical and electronic microscopy (SEM), surface analysis (ESCA, SIMS, RBS, AUGER, etc.), thermal analysis, pressure measurements, and gas analysis (outgassing tests). The results of these experiments are discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Durin, Christian
(Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales Toulouse, France)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Langley Research Center, First LDEF Post-Retrieval Symposium Abstracts
Subject Category
Engineering (General)
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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