MISSE 2 PEACE Polymers Atomic Oxygen Erosion Experiment on the International Space Station
De Groh, Kim K., et al. (2008). "MISSE 2 PEACE Polymers Atomic Oxygen Erosion Experiment on the International Space Station." High Performance Polymers 20 4-5: 388-409
Forty-one different polymer samples, collectively called the Polymer Erosion and Contamination Experiment (PEACE) Polymers, were exposed to the low Earth orbit (LEO) environment on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) for nearly 4 years as part of Materials International Space Station Experiment 2 (MISSE 2). The objective of the PEACE Polymers experiment was to determine the atomic oxygen erosion yield of a wide variety of polymeric materials after long-term exposure to the space environment. The polymers range from those commonly used for spacecraft applications, such as Teflon ® FEP, to more recently developed polymers, such as high temperature polyimide PMR (polymerization of monomer reactants). Additional polymers were included to explore erosion yield dependence upon chemical composition. The MISSE PEACE Polymers experiment was flown in MISSE Passive Experiment Carrier 2 (PEC 2), tray 1, attached to the exterior of the ISS Quest Airlock. It was exposed to atomic oxygen along with solar and charged particle radiation. MISSE 2 was successfully retrieved during a space walk on July 30, 2005 during Discovery's STS-114 Return to Flight mission. Details on the specific polymers flown, flight sample fabrication, pre-flight and post-flight characterization techniques, and atomic oxygen fluence calculations are discussed along with a summary of the atomic oxygen erosion yield results. The MISSE 2 PEACE Polymers experiment is unique because it has the widest variety of polymers flown in LEO for a long duration and was exposed to an unusually clean LEO spacecraft environment. This experiment provides extremely valuable erosion yield data for spacecraft design purposes.