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Ground-Based Testing of Replacement Thermal Control Materials for the Hubble Space TelescopeThe mechanical and optical properties of the metallized Teflon FEP thermal control materials on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have degraded over the nearly seven years the telescope has been in orbit. Given the damage to the outer layer of the multi-layer insulation (MLI) that was apparent during the second servicing mission (SM2), the decision was made to replace the outer layer during subsequent servicing missions. A Failure Review Board was established to investigate the damage to the MLI and identify a replacement material. The replacement material had to meet the stringent thermal requirements of the spacecraft and maintain mechanical integrity for at least ten years. Ten candidate materials were selected and exposed to ten-year HST-equivalent doses of simulated orbital environments. Samples of the candidates were exposed sequentially to low and high energy electrons and protons, atomic oxygen, x-ray radiation, ultraviolet radiation and thermal cycling. Following the exposures, the mechanical integrity and optical properties of the candidates were investigated using Optical Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), a Laboratory Portable Spectroreflectometer (LPSR) and a Lambda 9 Spectroreflectometer. Based on the results of these simulations and analyses, the Failure Review Board selected a replacement material and two alternates that showed the highest likelihood of providing the requisite thermal properties and surviving for ten years in orbit.
Document ID
Document Type
Townsend, Jacqueline A.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Hansen, Patricia A.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
McClendon, Mark W.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
deGroh, Kim K.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Banks, Bruce A.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Triolo, Jack J.
(Swales Aerospace Beltsville, MD United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: High Performance Polymers Journal
Subject Category
Composite Materials
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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