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NASA Unveils New Self-healing Material to Protect Spacecrafts from Space Debris

By CIOReview | Monday, September 28, 2015

FREMONT, CA: NASA bags yet another achievement by creating a self-healing material that can repair itself within seconds. The study was a combination work of NASA scientists and University of Michigan which will be soon implemented on aircrafts and spacecrafts, reports  Sarah Buhr for TechCrunch.

 According to NASA scientists   the self-healing material works similar to puncture healing, the organically designed polymers respond to space junk which  hits the space shuttle; it then reacts with outer atmosphere and turns into solid to repair a leak or hole on the spacecraft potentially within less than a few seconds.

How It Works

The reactive liquid is called as thiol-ene-trialkylborane, once this substance comes in contact with atmospheric oxygen which flows through around the damaged part, liquid transforms to solid state due to polymerization. . The technology can help protect International Space Stations (ISS) and other spacecrafts from space debris. Presently, ISS is shielded by bumpers that vaporize debris before the impact. Now these bumpers fail to work, the new material will serve as a backup safety measure. Additionally this new material can be implemented in consumer products, for instance in cars which can repair a dent or scratch.