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MISSE-Flight Facility Polymers and Composites Experiment 1-4 (PCE 1-4)Spacecraft in low Earth orbit (LEO) are subjected to harsh environmental conditions, including radiation (cosmic rays, ultraviolet (UV), x-ray and charged particle radiation), micrometeoroids and orbital debris, temperature extremes, thermal cycling, and atomic oxygen (AO). These environmental exposures can result in erosion, embrittlement and optical property degradation of susceptible materials threatening spacecraft performance and durability. To increase our understanding of effects such as AO erosion and radiation induced embrittlement of spacecraft materials, NASA Glenn Research Center has developed a series of experiments that are flown as part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) missions on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS). These experiments have provided critical space environmental durability data such as AO erosion data of polymers and composites, and radiation induced mechanical property degradation of spacecraft insulation materials, after long term space exposure. In continuing these studies, four Glenn experiments have been flown on ISS’s MISSE-Flight Facility (MISSE-FF). These experiments are the Polymers and Composites Experiment-1 (PCE-1) flown as part of the inaugural MISSE-9 mission, the PCE-2 flown as part of the MISSE-10 mission, the PCE-3 being flown as part of the MISSE-12 mission, and the PCE-4 being flown as part of the MISSE-13 mission. This paper provides an overview of space environmental effects on spacecraft materials and Glenn’s PCE 1-4 MISSE-FF experiments.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Kim K De Groh
(Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Bruce A Banks
(Science Applications International Corporation (United States) McLean, Virginia, United States)
Date Acquired
October 19, 2020
Publication Date
February 1, 2021
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 619352.
Distribution Limits
Portions of document may include copyright protected material.
Technical Review
Single Expert
Atomic oxygen
space radiation
spaceflight experiment
International Space Station
Low Earth orbit
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