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Challenges and solutions in support of human space exploration​

Photo Credit: Christophe Minetti, ULB

The European Space Agency (ESA) workshop will take place at Graphene Week 2019 on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 September. Speakers from ESA and NASA, among others, will put forward the current challenges in space travel. Using existing technology, there are many processes, products and properties that are currently unsuitable for use in space, that is, until graphene gains its firm reputation as a material for space equipment. 

Keynote speakers at the event will include ESA and NASA officers, among others in the space industry, who will share the challenges they have encountered in recent projects, of which many audience members may be able to provide a solution with their own research.

“At Graphene Week 2019, we are putting people with problems, in front of people with the solutions,” explained Carlo Iorio, senior researcher at Université Libre de Bruxelles. “Graphene research and development in the Graphene Flagship could be the answer to many of the current limitations of space travel. We welcome everyone, including those outside of the space community, to join this workshop and discover the relevance of space travel to their own field.”

The connection between graphene and space applications truly took off back in 2017, when the first parabolic flight experiment enabled the testing of the thermal management properties of graphene in microgravity conditions.

Since then, the connection between graphene and space travel has been reinforced. Graphene was sent into space in a sounding rocket, from Kiruna, Sweden in June 2019 to test graphene in true microgravity conditions in a space environment. This workshop will present some findings from this experiment, which aimed to understand how material printing in space could be performed.

Effective printing in space has yet to be developed, but this experiment suggests graphene could be the answer. Using ink with graphene nanoplatelets, the material could provide a mammoth breakthrough for the space industry.

This exciting revelation represents just one process, and one area that could be made better with graphene. All research areas, including biomedical, radiation protection and material science, could play a vital role in enabling human space travel. This workshop will explore all potential areas.

To join this intergalactic journey, attend the Challenges and solutions in support of human space exploration workshop on Wednesday 25 September at 15:30 and Thursday 26 September at 14:30.


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Publishing date: 07 August 2019 13:58