April 4, 2020

Astro-Vid Of the Week: Help Fund A Self-Healing Satellite

To the stars through teaching!

A student engineering team has a unique solution to a problem that plagues satellites in low Earth orbit.

Along with the larger pieces of space debris that NORAD tracks are the smaller pieces of hardware and material that we don’t know about, zipping along through space. These can include debris left over from previous space missions such as paint chips and frozen water droplets as well as incoming micro-meteoroid debris. Over time, satellites get “sand-blasted” and often damaged by these small particles travelling along at terrific velocity. If only there was a way that satellites could “heal” themselves, much like blood coagulates into an open wound to close it up…

Now, a project from Space Concordia seeks to demonstrate just that. But they need your help to get their ConSat-2 cubesat into space:

This exciting new Kickstarter is already funded well past the halfway mark, but they have just five days left to go. The team has a proven track record with the development of its ConSat-1, which won the first Canadian Satellite Design Challenge. ConSat-2 will demonstrate the viability of using a self-healing fiber-reinforced composite in a zero-g environment. If successful, the use of the material could become standard on spacecraft and satellites to protect them from damage. This could even prove to be cost effective on long duration manned space flights to the planets and on platforms such as the International Space Station, where micro-meteoroid strikes have been recorded as a known hazard.

Now is the time to get in on the ground floor of this exciting project… let’s get ConSat-2 to the launch pad!

Space Video Of the Week: Watch Today’s EVA Live!

Its back… we’re resurrecting our “Video of the Week” posting here on Astroguyz. Expect nothing but the best, as we cull ye’ ole Web for historical footage, astronomical simulations and live events, such as today’s Extra Vehicular Activity outside of the International Space Station.

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22.05.11: Meteoroids: Sandblasting Satellites?

0.84mm diameter strike on the window of Shuttle Columbia seen after STS-35. (Credit: NASA).

Next time you use your mobile or GPS to bounce signals off of a satellite, thank Stanford professor Ingrid Close… she and other researchers like her think about meteoroid strikes and their potentially crippling effects on spacecraft, so hopefully you don’t have to. [Read more...]