Composites replace titanium in Orion space capsule heatshield and backshell structure
TenCate Advanced Composites North America, a global composite materials company for space and aerospace applications, has developed and provided heat resistant composites for the heat shield and backshell structure of the Lockheed Martin Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle, launched this week.
The suite of advanced materials of TenCate in this space capsule replaces the traditional titanium solution for re-entry and splashdown requirements, while saving weight and cost. The composite heat shield design allows very large composite structures to be fabricated out of autoclave.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Orion thermal protection group worked closely with TenCate Advanced Composites to develop a special heat resistant composite resin for the 16.5 foot (5 meter) diameter heat shield and the crew vehicle backshell structure of the Orion space capsule.
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