MOFFETT FIELD, CA, Aug. 16, 2017 – Radiation shielding for space station modules and habitats will soon benefit from testing aboard the International Space Station (ISS). In June, Made In Space, Inc. (MIS) completed the third of a three-part additive manufacturing print project for NASA’s Johnson Space Center. MIS used its Additive Manufacturing Facility to produce dome-shaped 3-D printed shields for the Radiation Enclosure Monitors (REM), sensors being used aboard ISS’ Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) to test for radiation.
Manufactured from ABS plastic, the three shields have been made at different material thickness: 1.1, 3.3, and 10 millimeters. Inside the objects are a channel for holding the REM sensor, which is used to detect and gather radiation measurements. Astronauts changed out the devices every few weeks starting in April and concluding at the end of June.
“These relatively inexpensive and small tests will provide our customers with some valuable information on how to better design spacecraft to operate safely and more efficiently,” said Matt Napoli, MIS vice president of In-Space Operations. “Another benefit to these tests is the fast, real-time access to data – NASA will know in a short timeframe how radiation is affecting these structures and at what level.”
The inflatable BEAM was launched in 2016 to serve a two-year stint attached to ISS. The module was designed to serve as an experiment capsule and prove extendible habitat technology.
MIS engineers modified the REM design to improve the mounting groove area for the USB port. The REM devices also measure radiation from all angles. As spacecraft orbit the Earth, they pass through areas with known higher radiation levels such as the South Atlantic Anomaly. Better understanding the effects of radiation will enable manufacturers to improve the protection of future spacecraft.
“We have a number of product development interests related to this project,” said MIS President & CEO Andrew Rush. “The REM tests could lead to many improvements in spacecraft and habitat construction in the future. Right now, with our Archinaut development program, we’re working to manufacture and assemble large structures in space for the first time in history. Information from these tests will help us with our materials research and other capabilities development.”
About Made In Space:
Made In Space, Inc. (MIS) is the world’s most experienced space manufacturing company. Established in 2010 and with offices in Florida, California, Alabama and Ohio, MIS leverages the unique properties of the space environment to develop manufacturing solutions to commercial, industrial, research and defense challenges. The company’s vision is to enable the future of space exploration by offering off- Earth manufacturing capabilities. For more information about MIS, visit www.madeinspace.us.
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