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The International Space Station ISS is subject to the endless bombardment of tiny particles moving at supersonic speeds. A team of MIT researchers has found that microparticles can be dangerous to the orbiting outpost – in some cases even holes in its shielding material can be melted.
The researchers used tin, which has a fairly low melting temperature. as model material for a model of the station surface. They heated another piece of tin with laser beams to expel and accelerate tin particles a hundred thousandths of a meter in diameter, which then bombarded the surface.
High speed cameras filming at speeds of up to 1
At a speed of almost 100 m / s, the report says collusion can lead to material loss. According to the study, particles traveling at speeds of almost 1 km / s (three times the speed of sound) can cause damage to spacecraft and satellites.
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This is the first study of its kind, claiming the authors of the paper, who helped them to see the mechanism that produced the effects, whereas earlier analyzes have argued that Effects on the astronauts examined surface "post-mortem" or after the collision.
While the experiments saw particles strike a certain material at a certain speed, the team would like to see in further testing how particles collide at different angles with other materials, including alloys
"We can do this at all Extending situations where erosion is important, "said David Veysset, MIT author of the magazine. He added that the study could help engineers develop erosion-resistant materials that can be used in space as well as on Earth.
"The experimental work is of very high quality … I would imagine that it can be applied to some types of surface milling applications, similar to sandblasting, but more aggressive than this method," said H. Jay Melosh, geophysicist and specialist in impact crashing.