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International Test Program for Synergistic Atomic Oxygen and VUV Exposure of Spacecraft MaterialsSpacecraft in low Earth orbit (LEO) are subject to degradation in thermal and optical performance of components and materials through interaction with atomic oxygen and vacuum ultraviolet radiation which are predominant in LEO. Due to the importance of LEO durability and performance to manufacturers and users, an international test program for assessing the durability of spacecraft materials and components was initiated. Initial tests consisted of exposure of samples representing a variety of thermal control paints and multilayer insulation materials that have been used in space. Materials donated from various international sources were tested alongside a material whose performance is well known such as Teflon FEP or Kapton H for multilayer insulation, or Z-93-P for white thermal control paints. The optical, thermal or mass loss data generated during the test was then provided to the participating material supplier. Data was not published unless the participant donating the material consented to publication. This paper presents a description of the types of tests and facilities that have been used for the test program as well as some examples of data that have been generated. The test program is intended to give spacecraft builders and users a better understanding of degradation processes and effects to enable improved prediction of spacecraft performance.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Rutledge, Sharon
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Banks, Bruce
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Dever, Joyce
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Savage, William
(Cleveland State Univ. Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 2000
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:210054
Meeting Information
Materials in a Space Environment(Arcachon)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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