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Erosion Results of the MISSE 7 Polymers Experiment and Zenith Polymers Experiment After 1.5 Years of Space ExposurePolymers and other oxidizable materials on the exterior of spacecraft in the low Earth orbit (LEO) space environment can be eroded due to reaction with atomic oxygen (AO). Therefore, in order to design durable spacecraft it is important to know the LEO AO erosion yield (E(sub y), volume loss per incident oxygen atom) of materials susceptible to AO reaction. Two spaceflight experiments, the Polymers Experiment and the Zenith Polymers Experiment, were developed to determine the AO E(sub y) of various polymers flown in ram, wake or zenith orientations in LEO. These experiments were flown as part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment 7 (MISSE 7) mission for 1.5 years on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS). The experiments included Kapton H(TradeMark) witness samples for AO fluence determination in ram and zenith orientations. The Polymers Experiment also included samples to determine whether AO erosion of high and low ash containing polymers is dependent on fluence. This paper provides an overview of the MISSE 7 mission, a description of the flight experiments with details on the polymers flown, the characterization techniques used, the AO fluence for each exposure orientation, and the LEO E(sub y) results. The E(sub y) values ranged from 7.99x10(exp -28)cu cm/atom for TiO2/Al2O3 coated Teflon(TradeMark) fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) flown in the ram orientation to 1.22x10(exp -23cu cm/atom for polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) flown in the zenith orientation. The E(sub y) of similar samples flown in different orientations has been compared to help determine solar exposure and associated heating effects on AO erosion. The E(sub y) data from these ISS spaceflight experiments provides valuable information for LEO spacecraft design purposes.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
De Groh, Kim K.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Banks, Bruce A.
(Science Applications International Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Yi, Grace T.
(Hathaway Brown School Shaker Heights, OH, United States)
Haloua, Athena
(Hathaway Brown School Shaker Heights, OH, United States)
Imka, Emily C.
(Hathaway Brown School Shaker Heights, OH, United States)
Mitchell, Gianna G.
(Hathaway Brown School Shaker Heights, OH, United States)
Asmar, Olivia C.
(Hathaway Brown School Shaker Heights, OH, United States)
Leneghan, Halle A.
(Hathaway Brown School Shaker Heights, OH, United States)
Sechkar, Edward A.
(ZIN Technologies, Inc. Middleburg Heights, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
January 3, 2017
Publication Date
December 1, 2016
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Inorganic, Organic And Physical Chemistry
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 769347.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Solar radiation
Earth Orbital Environments
Oxygen atoms
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