Although scientists believe atomic oxygen
makes up 96 percent of the thin atmosphere in low-Earth orbit, Herrero is interested in measuring its density and determining more precisely its role in creating atmospheric drag, which can cause orbiting spacecraft to lose altitude prematurely and plunge to Earth.
The researchers placed the samples in a vacuum chamber and bombarded them with atomic oxygen
These hydroxyl radicals will either react with impurities in the air to break them down or react at night with nitrogen dioxide to form nitric acid, which is either washed out of the atmosphere by rain or broken down by sunlight the next day into hydroxyl radicals, nitric oxide, and atomic oxygen
Whiteshell Laboratories, working in partnership with ASPEN Systems -- a Massachusetts company that creates polymers for satellite manufacturing -- has created a new polymer that should withstand atomic oxygen
Air flows between the panels, and the radio frequency dissociates molecular oxygen into atomic oxygen
CORIN XLS was developed with funding from the Air Force Research Laboratory as a coating for high strength fibers exposed to atomic oxygen
and ultraviolet degradation in low earth orbit.
ManTech's CORIN XLS Polyimide offers temperature stability common to most polyimides, but adds high optical clarity, room temperature cure, and unmatched resistance to degradation from atomic oxygen
and anisotropic plasma etching.
Prior testing of polymers like Kapton had proven that the high atomic oxygen
(AO) flux, subjugation to charged particles, and solar radiation that occur in Earth's orbit harshly degraded the materials.
For phenyls and many other organics, Loy now burns his bridges with a room-temperature plasma of atomic oxygen
The part identification markings and tags -- which remain readable after exposure to the extreme levels of ultraviolet radiation, atomic oxygen
, hard vacuum, and contamination in low earth orbit -- will be evaluated and then certified for use on future space vehicles and added to NASA's part identification requirements.
As a secondary product the atomic oxygen
, produced from the splitting of the water, is converted to molecular oxygen and delivered to the atmosphere.
According to ex-NASA astronaut Thomas Jones, a veteran of three spacewalks, the odor could stem from atomic oxygen
that clings to spacesuit fabric.
A final 30-[Angstrom] layer of amorphous carbon was applied to the 70-layer stack while the mirror was still in the magnetron sputtering chamber to give the coating extra stability from atomic oxygen
while in near-Earth orbit.
The supernova's shock wave proved energetic enough to strip five of eight electrons from atomic oxygen
gas and induced these ionized atoms to emit the ultraviolet light detected by HUT, reports Arthur F.
Fluoropolymers are relatively expensive and they are generally used in specialised applications such as linings for chemical plant, spacecraft coatings that are resistant to atomic oxygen
, fire-resistant coatings for cables, and of course, non-stick functions.