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Film created to protect small spacecraft

Applied to micro-spacecraft, the thin film switches color from light to dark based on exposure to harsh sunlight or extreme darkness, thereby protecting the spacecraft from extreme heat or cold, and from extremes in infrared radiation as well.
by Staff Writers
Lakewood, N.J. (UPI) Sep 3, 2008
U.S. researchers say they have developed a thin film designed to protect small spacecraft from temperature extremes, corrosion and micrometeor impacts.

Scientists from the Ashwin-Ushas Corp. of New Jersey, led by Prasanna Chandrasekhar, conducted the research with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The scientists said their goal was to create ways of protecting smaller spacecraft weighing between 10 and 50 pounds. NASA said such low-cost small vehicles will comprise the majority of spacecraft in the future.

Chandrasekhar and his team designed what they term a "thin-film variable emittance electrochromic device" -- a flexible film that changes color when given an electrical charge.

Applied to micro-spacecraft, it switches color from light to dark based on exposure to harsh sunlight or extreme darkness, thereby protecting the spacecraft from extreme heat or cold, and from extremes in infrared radiation as well. The researchers said the film also has a protective layer of germanium silicon oxides to protect a spacecraft from the corrosive effects of atomic oxygen and from micrometeor impacts.

The film was presented recently in Philadelphia during a national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

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North Korea marks long-range missile test
Seoul (AFP) Aug 31, 2008
North Korea on Sunday celebrated the 10th anniversary of test-firing its Taepodong-1 long-range missile, which it claims to be the country's first satellite rocket launch.







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