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View Full Version : Bleargh! Coursework!



Zachary
2004-Nov-03, 06:04 PM
Before I start, no, I'm not asking anybody to do my coursework :P

What I am looking for though is some information - I'm doing an AS Physics coursework project on materials, and I've chosen heat shields on spacecraft as my topic.

I've found some useful stuff on google and textbooks, but I can't find much precise information (e.g. I know the apollo craft used a carbon fibre 'mesh' coated in a phlenoic expoxy resign, but what the heck is phlenoic? I know its a sort of plastic, but what about its specific heat capacity, boiling temperatures etc? And what is the hardness/impact resistance of the ceramic tiles they used on the space shuttle?)

Anyways, since a lot of people here are quite knowledgeable on space travel I was wondering if anybody could point me to some websites or books which could help me (I'm sure that's not against the board's guidelines, right?). I'm looking for info about mainly the US and USSR projects , but considering the almost complete lack of precise info about the heatshields on the Vostok, Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft, is most of it still classified? (it's not really much of a problem if it is - I'll just focus on the US).

also, did the mercury suborbital flights use a heatsink made of copper, or was it something else?

ngc3314
2004-Nov-03, 10:00 PM
Before I start, no, I'm not asking anybody to do my coursework :P

What I am looking for though is some information - I'm doing an AS Physics coursework project on materials, and I've chosen heat shields on spacecraft as my topic.

I've found some useful stuff on google and textbooks, but I can't find much precise information (e.g. I know the apollo craft used a carbon fibre 'mesh' coated in a phlenoic expoxy resign, but what the heck is phlenoic? I know its a sort of plastic, but what about its specific heat capacity, boiling temperatures etc? And what is the hardness/impact resistance of the ceramic tiles they used on the space shuttle?)

Anyways, since a lot of people here are quite knowledgeable on space travel I was wondering if anybody could point me to some websites or books which could help me (I'm sure that's not against the board's guidelines, right?). I'm looking for info about mainly the US and USSR projects , but considering the almost complete lack of precise info about the heatshields on the Vostok, Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft, is most of it still classified? (it's not really much of a problem if it is - I'll just focus on the US).

also, did the mercury suborbital flights use a heatsink made of copper, or was it something else?

ISTR that the Mercury capsules used beryllium heat sinks (but better check...)

Here's some possibly helpful stuff from the Northrop-Grumman Space Data paperback (hint to folks going to the San Diego AAS - make a point of grabbing one of these fantastically useful things at their booth!). On page 181 in the atmsopheric-entry section, it lists nylon phenolic as having a heat of ablation Q* of 10,000 Btu/Ibm, and density in heat shield zeta of 94 Ibm/cubic foot (them's the listed units, don't yell at me). This is in the middle of 10 pages of very useful equations and charts for deceleration and heating during various kinds of entries for various shapes. I don't suppose they've put this online somewhere...

If you look through the Usenet group sci.space.history (say from google), there was a recent thread with some references to Soviet publications on thermal protection (with some tiny bits of information).