We use Amazon Associate links to help support the site and the work we do.

Where No Gay Has Gone Before: Fashionistas in Space!

New fabrics for space applications.

When many of us hear the word ‘fabrics’, we immediately think of avant-garde, haute couture dresses, the latest fashions from Paris, or ‘who-is-wearing-who’ on the Red Carpet.  In space exploration, however, fabrics have more applications than for just snazzy clothes, like antennas, spacesuits and shields for spacecraft.

Raul Polit Casillas, a systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is the son of a fashion designer from Spain, so he grew up familiar with fabrics.  Now he is applying his knowledge and skills to develop woven metal fabrics for applications in space.

The fabrics that Polit Casillas and his colleagues are not hand-sewn but are 3-D printed, using a technique called additive manufacturing, which is cheaper and can be used to create unique materials.   This could also help reduce the costs of building complex, expensive spacecraft.  Fabrics can be manufactured for reflectivity, passive heave management, foldability and tensile strength.  For example, one side of a fabric reflects light while the other absorbs it.  It can be folded and cut into necessary shapes.

One of the most important applications could be for spacesuits for astronauts.  A fabric that has heat-generating properties can be printed to keep astronauts and spacecraft warm.  It could also be used to help explorers walk on uneven terrain and not melt the ice underneath them.

I previously reported in a post that structures on Mars could be 3-D printed, and now fabrics and materials can be created with similar technology.

But at first, clothes will be have to be manufactured for substance, rather than style. Sorry, fashionistas!

 

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6816

close

Join Our Newsletter List, Get 4 Free Books

To view our privacy and other policies, Click Here
Please consider also subscribing to the newsletters of the authors who are providing these free eBooks to you. We are only able to offer them through the generosity of these QSF authors. You can always unsubscribe at a later date if you don't find anything of interest to you.
Once you submit this form, check your inbox to confirm this addition if you joined our newsletter list.

Leave a Comment