Mars Workshop @ EPFL Abstracts
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Use of ultralight polymer-based composite structures in future space exploration Enrique R. Guzman Solares , PhD Student in the Laboratory of Applied Mechanics & Reliability Analysis of the EPFL, member of the Mars Society Switzerland; Material science is a main issue when it is about any engineering project. The space conquest has not been an exception as we know, since new options need constantly to be found in order to improve the performance of a mission without compromising the payload safety and maximizing the probably of mission success. Concerning the options for new structural materials to be used in an eventual Mars mission, polymer-based composite materials have often been appreciated for their exceptional mechanical properties, but also criticized for their low resistance to rough environments. If there is a future for composite structures in space exploration, all doubts about a safe use must be discarded, especially concerning natural ageing due to interplanetary cold as well as Martian environment. This presentation is a short review about proposed solutions that could resolve these issues and allow the future (un)manned missions to Mars to take full advantages of outstanding composite materials mechanical properties.
Enrique Guzman