Space is known for its inhospitable conditions and the extreme operating requirements it demands of materials. In low Earth orbit (LEO), atomic oxygen erodes susceptible materials, and extreme thermal cycling threatens dissimilar material interfaces.
Micrometeoroid or debris impacts are also a constant and growing threat in LEO. Additionally, materials must perform in vacuum conditions under variable but persistent ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, as well as plasma and surface charging threats.
Early materials space exposure experiments were flown on the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), the Russian space station Mir, and the space shuttle. Currently, materials space exposure experiments are conducted on the International Space Station
(ISS) on external platforms such as the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) Flight Facility and the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility (JEM EF). As humanity ventures outside of Earth’s orbit, new threats will include
unshielded solar winds and galactic cosmic rays. Difficulties assessing and repairing damaged materials await. Foreign worlds also present new challenges, such as pervasive sharp-edged lunar and Martian regolith. Spacecraft will require materials
with a high degree of reliability because spare parts are not readily available and replacement is typically not an option. Addressing these challenges will also inform the design and testing of materials for use on Earth.
will discuss the design, development, and testing of different materials and devices to withstand the extreme conditions of space. These materials include metals, ceramics, composites, textiles, semiconductors, glasses, polymers, and coatings. Devices
such as photovoltaics, radiation-hardened electronics, and variable emissivity devices will also be discussed. This symposium is soliciting abstracts on ground- and space-based materials research as well as spaceflight facilities. Materials for space
applications encompass space stations (the ISS and Gateway), satellites, and commercial space vehicles for the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Materials research using space-based platforms will also provide accelerated degradation data for terrestrial applications.