From the Big Easy to the International Space Station

News

Geocent, LLC, a national Information Technology and Engineering firm with its headquarters in Louisiana, is excited to announce that its innovative materials for radiation shielding and thermal barrier coatings has been chosen by NASA to be a part of the International Space Station.  Its purpose will be to evaluate their potential applications for lunar habitation, long-term deep space missions such as Mars, and other unspecified defense applications.

Geocent, with its partners Plasma Processes Inc, The University of Tennessee, and The University of Alabama in Birmingham, was awarded NASA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I and II funding to develop multifunctional lightweight composite materials as an integral part of a spacecraft or habitat structure to shield crew and critical avionics against Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) and secondary particles. Geocent and its partners were also awarded an SBIR Phase I to develop innovative material solutions for Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBC) that have direct application for hot rocket and missile structures such as nozzles and leading edges. The resulting solutions from these SBIR’s are being flown on the International Space Station for further experimentation.

Dr. Subhayu Sen, Geocent’s Principal Investigator: “We have matured these materials to the extent that NASA has selected Geocent and its partners to fly and test them on the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE-11) platform, which is mounted externally to the International Space Station”. Dr. Sen further explained that Geocent is “extremely grateful to NASA for this opportunity since the long-term durability of such materials against the overall space environment, including atomic oxygen, radiation spectrum, thermal excursions, and UV, can only be tested on the MISSE platform.”

The first batch of shielding and TBC material was launched to the ISS on April 17, 2019. These samples are dedicated to characterizing thermal and radiation properties over a period of one (1) year. The samples mounted on the MISSE cartridge are shown in Figure A. An extra-vehicular activity (EVA) will be performed by the astronauts to attach the samples external to the ISS. A second batch of samples will launch in December 2019 and will be dedicated to characterizing any degradation in mechanical properties due to long term space environment exposure.

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(A)  Geocent samples mounted on the MISSE sample holder and (B) MISSE platform attached to the robotic arm external to ISS (courtesy: NASA Langley Research Center website, https://misse1.larc.nasa.gov/)

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About Geocent

Geocent provides innovative information technology, high-end engineering services, and technology solutions to federal, state and local government, as well as the defense and aerospace industries, with over 20 years of performance. At Geocent, we solve the world’s biggest problems. We are successful in solving these problems by setting strong goals for the company which is evident by our mission statement: “Geocent is a leading technology company sought after by clients, employees, and partners for consistently delivering the right solutions.” Whether we are enabling space explorations, protecting our homeland, or serving our veterans, our projects combine science, technology, and strategy to create big solutions for the world’s most difficult challenges. Geocent has offices in Metairie and Baton Rouge, LA; Charleston, SC; Huntsville, AL; Stennis Space Center, MS; San Diego, CA; Jackson/Vicksburg, MS; Dallas, TX; Arlington and McLean, VA. For news media interviews and further information, please contact Jaclyn Dufrene at 504-831-1900 or jaclyn.dufrene@geocent.com.

This post is written by Geocent