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Greek Know-How in Space June 30, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Science.

State-of-the-art tiles, which will be protecting spaceships from really high temperatures, are being manufacturing by scientists of the Greek National Centre of Scientific Research “Demokritos.” The European Space Agency has already demonstrated its keen interest in this pioneer achievement of the Greek scientists. The fireproof tiles are expected to be tested on real flight conditions by 2007.

Apart from bracing spaceships for high temperatures, the material in question will also serve as a shield against meteor-related impacts, allowing spaceships to enter the atmosphere really faster.
Final Tests on the Way

Hybrid Thermal Protection System “Hybrid-TPS”, which is being developed in Demokritos’ specialised labs in collaboration with the European Space Agency and companies in Greece and elsewhere in Europe, ranks among the most promising new generation systems aiming at spaceship protection.

Dr Giorgos Vekinis, head of Advanced Ceramics and Composites Department, and his associate Dr Galina Xanthopoulou, have been working on special fireproof thermo-isolating advanced tiles using the method of the self-spreading high temperature synthesis (SHS). Their work is protected with patent certificates.

From now on, the funding of the patent produced by the Greek researchers will lie with the European Space Agency, while NASA has also expressed its interest in the tiles.

The final tests on the tiles’ resistance will soon be carried out in the Netherlands, while a Greek company will undertake to usher them in the market.

Related Links:
  National Centre of Scientific Research “Demokritos” > http://www.demokritos.gr
  European Space Agency > http://www.esa.int/esaCP/index.html

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