July 16th, 2014

Spacecraft Bullet Testing

The ESA used a high-performance light-gas gun to fire a 7.5 mm aluminum bullet to test the Kevlar-Nextel fabric that shields their ATV space capsule from debris. The full shielding is made of many layers, starting with a blanket of insulation, then an aluminum "bumper shield," a layer of stuffing, then the Kevlar-Nextal fabric. Each layer is meant to slow the debris so that the next layer has a better chance of stopping it.

Image: ESA

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