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Atomic Oxygen Erosion Data from the MISSE 2-8 MissionsPolymers and other oxidizable materials on the exterior of spacecraft in the low Earth orbit (LEO) space environment can be eroded from reaction with atomic oxygen (AO). Therefore, in order to design durable spacecraft it is important to know the extent of erosion that will occur during a mission. This can be determined by knowing the LEO AO erosion yield, E(sub y) (volume loss per incident oxygen atom), of materials susceptible to AO reaction. In addition, recent flight experiments have shown that the AO E(sub y) can vary with the AO fluence and/or solar exposure. Therefore obtaining AO E(sub y) data for materials flown on various spaceflight missions is important. NASA Glenn Research Center has flown numerous experiments as part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) missions on the exterior of the International Space Station to characterize the LEO E(sub y) of polymers, composites, protective coatings, and other spacecraft materials. This report provides a summary of the erosion data for ram samples from six Glenn polymer experiments flown as part of MISSE 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8. A total of 71 types of materials with 111 E(sub y) values are provided. The E(sub y) values for uncoated polymers range from 3.81×10(exp –27) cu cm/atom for DC 93-500 silicone exposed to an AO fluence of 4.62×10(exp 21) atoms/sq cm on MISSE 8 to 9.14×10(exp –24) cu cm/atom for polyoxymethylene (POM) exposed to an AO fluence of 8.43×10(exp 21) atoms/sq cm on MISSE 2. One polymer, Triton oxygen resistant, low modulus (TOR(TM) LM), experienced mass gain when exposed to an AO fluence of 2.15×10(exp 21) atoms/sq cm on MISSE 4. In many cases the same material was flown on numerous missions so that trends for E(sub y) versus AO fluence and/or solar exposure can be determined, along with temperature effects.
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. (SAIC) Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
May 31, 2019
Publication Date
May 1, 2019
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Nonmetallic Materials
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 291647.01.22
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
Single Expert
Environmental Durability
International Space Station
Atomic Oxygen
Flight Experiment
Space Radiation

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