Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Submariner Solution: Space Shuttle External Tank Foam Binder

The Space Shuttle's External Tank (ET) contains both liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer under pressure for the space shuttle main engines (SSME) during ascent. The ET is jettisoned 18 seconds after SSME shut down, and re-enters Earth's atmosphere to break up over the Indian or Pacific Oceans. Unlike Solid Rocket Boosters, External Tanks are never reused.

Since 1998, NASA started using, for International Space Station flights, a so-called "Super Lightweight Tank" (SLWT), which minimizes ET weight using new construction techniques.

The ET thermal protection system uses sprayed-on, foam insulation. Despite crew fatalities (Challenger), NASA still has not found a method of preventing foam fragments from breaking off in flight and damaging Shuttle ablative tiles.

A prolific thinker, Lubber's Line may have found a solution for NASA at only $9,000.00 a roll.
Whether or not EB Green withstands frictional heating at Mach 3 is an open question at this point. Additional weight? An estimated 2700 feet of 12-inch tape would weigh an extra 2.5 tons.


At 04 July, 2006 17:07, Blogger Lubber's Line said...

Vigilis, What's all this talk of Jettisoning the "ET"? Oh! External Tank not Electronic Technicians...

At 08 July, 2006 15:15, Blogger bothenook said...

ah, duct tape. the thing that holds the universe together.
i'm still looking for a civilian supplier of the really good dark green EB Green we used to get on the boat. you know, the stuff that stuck to EVERYTHING.
most of the stuff i find is no where near as good.


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