Materials for Space Shuttle

By: Monsa, Chris, Alex, Aliya  We studied materials for space shuttles. It is very complicated so we stopped using Google Scholar.  We separated into two teams: external materials and internal materials, specifically the outer shell and inner works such as wiring and hinges. What they Look Like  In general most of the structures on spacecraft are made of aluminum or carbon composites. This is to make them as light as possible, and to ensure the strength of the materials. The composition is usually designed to withstand great heat.  Other special materials are also used on spacecraft in certain places. For example; where they may get very hot from entry or from burning rocket fuel, there are materials that can take extreme heat to protect the underlying surfaces.  To protect against high temperatures space shuttles (orbiters) use a detailed thermal protection system (TPS).  The TPS is made up of over 24000 tiles on the outside of the shuttle. They work to insulate the aluminum skin of the craft.  They are coated in ceramic to reflect solar radiation.   Source: Orbital Thermal Protection System:


 http://www. the part that’s dark with white dots is metal or glass. It too can withstand great heat.ksc.  Finally.  Bulk metallic glasses are emerging as popular structural components.nasa. which can withstand high temperatures.ksc.html#sts-frsi  http://www. because they have great strength and are resistant to It is used in nose cones because it can take great Blanket_Details/ and take a small part in a back panel and part of the tail.space1.html  http://science. and is very minimal in comparison with other parts.  The part with short stripes is Advanced Flexible Reusable Surface Insulation.html .gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/sts_sys. a Nomex material that serves to isolate the tiles from the Orbiter’s structural basically stopping the tiles from breaking. a composite material consisting of carbon fibre reinforcement in a matrix of graphite. expansions and acoustic excitation. The previous slide shows a side view of the schematics of the materials used in an average NASA orbiter. These parts allow astronauts to view outwardly.  The part with dots is Felt Reusable Surface Insulation.  The part that looks like bricks is Reinforced Carbon-Carbon. often with a coating of silicon carbide to prevent oxidization.  http://science. a blanket of insulation made of low-density fibrous silica batting (lots of silica).html  The hinges on the space shuttles are made of an alloy called inconel.