FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, January 27, 2006

Self-Healing Spacecraft

Imagine you're travelling through space, a billion miles from Earth, when your spacecraft, strained from constant exposure to extreme temperatures and micrometeroids, develops a critical crack. What do you do? Minutes count, while the nearest rescue craft is months if not years away...

To solve this problem, researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK are exploring the possibilities of "self-healing" spacecraft, using tiny glass tubes filled with resin to fill small cracks in a surface before they become more serious. Clearly this technology has many terrestrial applications as well, repairing fissures in structures that are in remote, hard-to-access areas.

Source: European Space Agency