Lamborghini conduct carbon fiber materials science research on the International Space Station
The joint research on advanced carbon fiber composite materials initiated two years ago between Automobili Lamborghini and the Houston Methodist Research Institute has now reached an important turning point.
No earlier than November 2, a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket is scheduled to launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia to the International Space Station (ISS), carrying with it a series of sample composite materials produced by Automobili Lamborghini. The launch is part of a testing campaign sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory and overseen by the Houston Methodist Research Institute. Its aim is to analyze the response of five different composite materials produced by Lamborghini to the extreme stresses induced by the space environment, in view of future applications on the cars from Sant’Agata Bolognese and in the medical field.
Lamborghini is breaking ground as the first automaker in the world to conduct carbon fiber materials science research on the ISS.
On board the ISS for a period of six months, the materials will be subjected not only to extreme thermal excursion cycles with peaks from -40 to +200 degrees centigrade, but also to massive doses of ultraviolet radiation, gamma rays, and the flow of atomic oxygen caused by ionization, on the part of solar radiation, of the highest and most rarefied layers of Earth’s atmosphere.
At the end of the mission, the samples returned to Earth will undergo joint testing by Automobili Lamborghini and the Houston Methodist Research Institute in order to quantify the qualitative degradation in terms of both chemical and physical properties and mechanical properties.
For Lamborghini the data obtained will be valuable in view of an even more extensive use of advanced composites on its cars.