Graphene in Space: Wonder Material Strengthens New Space Habitat Prototype
Thought as a wonder material for a long time, graphene is now going to be used by an international team for enhancing a future space habitat.
Science & Tech
Since it was first isolated in 2004 at The University of Manchester, graphene has been touted as a wonder material that can massively improve the strength of buildings and machines across the globe. Now, the robust carbon allotrope is set to go to space to strengthen future astronaut habitats.
An international team led by Dr. Vivek Koncherry at The University of Manchester is developing a prototype for the graphene-enhanced space habitat. According to Koncherry, who we reached out to by email, the material will help balance the massively contrasting temperatures to which a space structure is subjected, making it safer for its future inhabitants.
"In a space structure, there is extreme temperature variation on opposite sides. Graphene is the best thermally conductive material, and we can take advantage of this property to balance the heat difference," Koncherry says. "In addition, graphene toughens the material, improving damage resistance caused by micrometeoroids and space junk."