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Intact capture of hypervelocity particles on ShuttleThe capability for capturing micrometeoroid analogs intact through laboratory simulations in passive underdense media offers a valuable tool for cosmic dust research. However, no amount of laboratory simulations can replace actual space experiments due to the technical inability to launch high fidelity analogs of micrometeoroids in ground laboratories and then reliably simulating high hypervelocities (greater than 7 km/s). Fluffy composite micrometeoroid analogs tend to break up and have not survived laboratory launches at beyond 4 km/s, however, a new technique of launching cluster analogs was developed for the two-stage light-gas gun at NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range. Plasma drag or electrostatic accelerators may be able to achieve higher speeds than two-stage light-gas guns but only with very limited projectile compositions and may result in severe projectile deformation. Consequently, a space demonstration of intact capture was sought since 1983. Initial results from our STS-47 flight, which carried the first Shuttle Sample Return Experiment (SRE) with silica aerogel capture media, are reported.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Tsou, P.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Brownlee, D. E.
(Washington Univ. Seattle., United States)
Albee, A. L.
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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