NASA will seek to build on its materials science research efforts with a flight of the Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space experiment on a Boeing-built X-37B spacecraft owned by the U.S. Air Force.
The space agency said Wednesday the experiment will expose 100 quarter-size materials samples, including polymers and composites, to the space environment at the International Space Station for at least 200 days.
“By exposing materials to space and returning the samples to Earth, we gain valuable data about how the materials hold up in the environment in which they will have to operate,” said Miria Finckenor, principal investigator for METIS at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
“Spacecraft designers can use this information to choose the best material for specific applications.”
NASA said the METIS experiment builds on the earlier Materials on International Space Station Experiment and will have data available to U.S. researchers via the Materials and Processes Technical Information System.