When a rocket or spacecraft is launched into space, its structure is subjected to such high temperatures that it risks being burnt up. The same occurs on its return to Earth, as soon as the spacecraft enters the atmosphere.The insulation materials for the aerospace industry, play an important role in the success of the launch and operation of all spacecraft, whether manned or not. as a result of a unique cork compound which has withstood decades of space travel.
"Cork is nature's foam, a foam with a unique combination of properties."
The chemical composition of cork and its cell structure, made of air, make it an excellent thermal insulator. Just a coating of a cork compound between 1.6 cm and 2.5 cm thick, depending on the heat load it shall have to withstand (always above one thousand degrees centigrade) is needed to protect the spacecraft from the spread of flames.
The cork is applied to critical components for the spacecraft's safety - usually the nose cone and other parts of the propulsion rockets coupled to the spacecraft. Any error could be fatal to the equipment and crew.
For the future, the successful tests for the use of cork in Space exploration open up new opportunities, which include the application of solutions for an interplanetary programme. The standard required is even higher: distant destinations, such as Mars, or the private transport of astronauts and material for Earth's lower orbit.
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