Home World Knowledge Lunar lining: Columbia coat tech insulates Intuitive Machines moon lander

Lunar lining: Columbia coat tech insulates Intuitive Machines moon lander

by 9999biz.com
0 comment

A technology used to protect the first astronauts to land on the moon is now on its way back to the lunar surface — and you may already have some of it hanging in your coat closet.

Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander “Odysseus” (“Odie” for short) will attempt to become the first U.S.-built commercial spacecraft to land on the moon when it tries for a touchdown near the lunar south pole on Feb. 22. The robotic probe, which lifted off Earth on Thursday (Feb. 15), will rely on its cryogenic propellant supply to power its descent to the surface. Protecting the propulsion tank from the extreme temperatures of outer space is an insulation based on what was first used by NASA’s Apollo missions more than 50 years ago but has since been improved upon by Columbia Sportswear.

Related: SpaceX launches private ‘Odysseus’ lander on pioneering moon mission (video)

“They took the Kapton coating from Apollo and turned it into the reflective discs in their jackets,” said Peter McGrath, chief operating officer at Intuitive Machines, in an interview with collectSPACE.com.

The same gold-dotted lining in Columbia’s jackets and other apparel was borne out of the polyamide thermal blankets that were used to cover the Apollo lunar modules.

“We realized immediately that this was a partnership that seemed to make sense,” said Haskell Beckham, vice president of innovation at Columbia Sportswear. “Once they described what they were doing and I described to them what we have in our line already for thermal reflective insulation, we realized that our material actually could provide a benefit to their lunar lander.”

Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C is one of several new U.S. robotic landers that exist or are in development as a result of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. Rather than build its own lander, which as a government project would take longer and cost more, the space agency has turned to companies to land its science instruments on the moon while at the same time flying commercial payloads to make the mission profitable.

The Columbia Sportswear partnership is one such example on IM-1, the first flight of the Nova-C, which is heading for a landing at Malapert A, a crater located about 186 miles (300 kilometers) from the moon’s south pole. Intuitive Machines used Columbia’s Omni-Heat Infinity heat-reflective technology to cover the A2 closeout panel that is shielding the lander’s cryogenic propulsion tank.

“The material that we use and have been using for over a decade in our jackets is very similar to what was what is currently used in the MLI [multi-layer insulation] blankets in the aerospace industry,” said Beckham. “We have got a polyester fabric. The little dots are metallized, it’s a multi-layer stack, but it is aluminum. And we have a layer on top of the aluminum, which in this case is a gold pigment.”

The same Omni-Heat Infinity technology that is now on its way to the moon on Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander can be found lining the latest Columbia Sportswear jackets. (Image credit: Columbia Sportswear)

More than just a commercial off-the-shelf solution, the use of Omni-Heat Infinity on Nova-C is also helping Columbia develop better clothing.

“We have learned so much after working with Intuitive Machines,” Beckham said. “So what is in our original jackets is a single layer of reflective insulation lining. Once we were introduced to these MLI or multi-layer insulation blankets, we felt we could probably do that on our jackets, too. So if you look at our latest jackets, there is a lining that reflects your own body heat and there’s also another layer of foil on the shell but the gold is facing in towards the body.”

“This is effectively a multi-layer installation. On a per-weight basis, it’s the warmest jacket Columbia’s ever made,” he said.”

Even though Odysseus has yet to land on the moon, Intuitive Machines and Columbia are already working on incorporating Omni-Heat Infinity into the second Nova-C lunar lander.

Rendering of Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 Nova-C lunar lander adorned with Columbia’s logo on moon’s surface. (Image credit: Columbia Sportswear)

You may also like

Leave a Comment


Dive into a universe of news diversity and online shopping excellence with 9999Biz Worldwide.


Subscribe my Newsletter for new trending posts, tips & new promotion. Let's stay updated!

Latest news

@2023 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by THE LANDING COMPANY LIMITED – Tax code: 0316285369

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin