Japanese Space Materials Exposure Experiment Utilizing International Space Station
Kimoto Y, et al. (2006). "Japanese Space Materials Exposure Experiment Utilizing International Space Station." 57th International Astronautical Congress
Space environment effects on materials are very severe and complex. It depends on the orbit in which the spacecraft is placed. Especially, in the orbit in which International Space Station (ISS) is operated, the interaction with not only space high energy particle but also the neutral gas, which is the atomic oxygen is dominant, become a problem in its performance. In addition, the surface degradation which is associated with contamination is one of the concerns for optics performance. So, space environment and its effect data is very important for spacecraft design. Space materials exposure experiment is that space materials is exposed in space, retrieved on the ground and analyzed. We can understand the real space environment effects on materials from this experimentsamples. NASA's Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) during its 5 years and 9 months in LEO revealed the micrometeoroid or orbital debris environment from the impacts on its samples. NASDA, the forerunner of JAXA, has implemented the space materials exposure experiment on the space shuttle and ISS. Micro-Particles Capturer (MPAC) and Space Environment Exposure Device (SEED) are the Japanese space materials exposure experiment on ISS. The MPAC is a micrometeoroid capture experiment. The SEED is a passive experiment designed to exposure materials. The SM/MPAC&SEED experiment is one of the first Japanese experiments on the Russian Service Module (SM) of ISS. This experiment had been implemented with cooperation between Russia and Japan. In October 2005, all this samples were retrieved on the ground from ISS by Soyuz-10S and transferred to Japan. I will report the status of the experiment and the preliminary report the retrieved samples. And future experimental plan will be reported.