Crater on aluminium sheet from impact research

Crater on aluminium sheet from impact research

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This image is part of the feature Space Junk

Credit: GEOFF TOMPKINSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Impact crater. Nylon plug and the damage to an aluminium sheet it caused during research into high-velocity small particle damage to satellites. The plug, weighing 79 milligrams, (lower right) was fired at an aluminium sheet at 4.89 kilometres per second in a vacuum. From this research, it was found that two separate sheets of aluminium provide better protection than one of double thickness. Research like this is used as a reference in the interpretation of actual impact data from space. Protecting satellites from impact damage is very important. As well as dust, there is an increasing amount of "space junk" in orbit from previous missions.

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Keywords: aluminium, aluminium sheet, crater, debris, impact, impact crater, impact research, nylon, nylon plug, plug, protection, research, satellite, satellite protection, space junk

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