NASA used composite material to protect Juno mission spacecraft

Nanocomp-Technologies-Composite-Material-Juno-NASA-Mission-JupiterA composite material is being used to protect the solar-powered spacecraft en route to Jupiter for NASA’s Juno mission. Nanocomp Technologies sheet composite material, Miralon, protects parts of the spacecraft’s propulsion system. NASA says the objective of the Juno mission “is to significantly improve our understanding of the formation, evolution and structure of Jupiter.”

Nanocomp Technologies describes Miralon as a “family of carbon nanotube (CNT) based sheets, tapes, yarns and dispersions” which the company designs, manufactures and sells. They claim it is the first commercially available CNT that reduces weight, increases strength and performance, and can manage and enhance conductivity.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reported Nanocomp worked with Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the project, to integrate Miralon into the Juno spacecraft in a composite material replacing the traditional aluminum foil used for electrostatic discharge (ESD). The Juno spacecraft will be traveling through strong radiation belts en route to Jupiter, which creates a need for stronger-than-usual ESD protection.

Recently, Juno mission to Jupiter broke the record to become humanity’s most distant solar-powered emissary, traveling 493 million miles from the sun. The spacecraft launched in 2011 and according to NASA, is expected to arrive at Jupiter on July 4 this year.

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