Severe-environment survivability is the key factor in the development of new space materials. These materials must exhibit excellent physical properties accompanied by lightweight, reusability, and multifunctional capabilities, or must be related to processes that involve either low-energy consumption or a highly efficient method of energy storage, conversion or production. This book, first published in 2005, offers a scientific and technical discussion and analysis of modifications induced by extreme conditions of the space environment. Contributions focus on: polymers and composites based on polymeric matrices; the effect of the space environment and of the simulated space environment on materials; the effect of ionizing radiations and electromagnetic radiation on polymers and composite materials; and the stability of polymeric materials against the atomic oxygen attack. Safety issues require accurate estimations of the reliability of space materials and, in particular, of nanomaterials and associated devices. The role of these materials in future space projects such as the solar sail and the space elevator, as well as in near future missions, is addressed.
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