NASA engineers fired small bullets at pieces of material intended to be used as meteorite shields for ships carrying Martian samples to Earth.
Tests using a gun to fire bullets into materials used to make shields for spacecraft at the White Sands Test Center. (Video: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
In testing at the Remote Hypervelocity Test Laboratory at the White Sands Test Center near Las Cruces, New Mexico, the shield had to withstand bullets fired at extremely high velocities. Space reported on October 17. That speed is enough for the plane to travel from New York to San Francisco in less than 5 minutes, according to Dennis Garcia, a test engineer at White Sands.
However, this speed is still not as fast as meteorites and space debris. Therefore, engineers must use computer models to simulate real-world speeds, which can reach 80 kilometers per second. At that speed, even dust can damage the spacecraft, according to Bruno Sarli, an engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center who oversaw the tests.
The shield will provide better protection if it is made up of many thin layers.
The shield will protect better if it is made up of several thin layers.
Remote rapid testing laboratory Serving NASA since the Space Shuttle program, enabling engineers to develop materials that protect the International Space Station (ISS), commercial passenger ships and cargo ships, from collisions with pieces of rock and space debris .
The special gun used to fire small bullets into a piece of shield material consists of two parts, the first part uses traditional gunpowder to launch the bullets. The second part provides the bullet with enhanced thrust by pushing highly compressed hydrogen gas into a smaller tube like a car piston. The pressure in the cannon is so high that it can destroy the building in the event of an explosion. Engineers discovered that instead of using a thick block of metal to stop bullets, The shield will provide better protection if it is made up of many thin layers.
The Mars sample-carrying spacecraft, jointly developed by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), is expected to bring back to Earth valuable soil and rock samples collected by NASA’s Perseverance rover from the planet’s surface red. It will be the first mission of its kind, allowing scientists to get their hands on newly mined rocks from another planet for the first time.
Meteors from Mars sometimes strike Earth, but these rocks have spent millions or even billions of years in space, weathered by harsh environments and radiation. Meteorites are also contaminated with living organisms when they fall to Earth, making it difficult to find signs of real Martian life on these rocks.
Article source: VnExpress
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Recently, NASA engineers fired small projectiles at pieces of material used as meteor shields for ships bringing Martian samples back to Earth. To try…