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Book Chapter

Mineralogy and microanalysis in the determination of cause of impact damage to spacecraft surfaces

By
G. A. Graham
G. A. Graham
1
Planetary & Space Sciences Research Institute, The Open University, Walton Hall
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
4
Department of Mineralogy, The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK
*
Institute for Geophysics & Planetary Physics, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, CA 94551, USA
(e-mail: graham42@llnl.gov)
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A. T. Kearsley
A. T. Kearsley
2
School of Biological & Molecular Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Headington
Oxford OX3 0BP, UK
**
Electron Microscopy & Mineral Analysis, Department of Mineralogy, The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
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G. Drolshagen
G. Drolshagen
3
TOS-EMA, European Space Research Technology Centre, The European Space Agency
Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands
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J. A. M. McDonnell
J. A. M. McDonnell
1
Planetary & Space Sciences Research Institute, The Open University, Walton Hall
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
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I. P. Wright
I. P. Wright
1
Planetary & Space Sciences Research Institute, The Open University, Walton Hall
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
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M. M. Grady
M. M. Grady
4
Department of Mineralogy, The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2004

Abstract

Cosmic dust grains are the abundant, fine-grained end-member of a range of extraterrestrial materials travelling through space. These particles can impact orbiting space vehicles (e.g. satellites and the International Space Station) at velocities ranging from 10 to 72 km s−1. Impact damage resulting from such a collision could potentially disable or limit the operational use of a spacecraft. There is great commercial interest from the satellite companies and space agencies to understand the nature and proportion of impacts that are caused by cosmic dust particles to assist in risk management studies and for protective shielding optimization. The successful recovery of any surface that has been exposed to the near-Earth environment offers an excellent opportunity to search for micrometre-scaled impact features and the associated projectile residues using scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Forensic Geoscience: Principles, Techniques and Applications

K. Pye
K. Pye
Kenneth Pye Associates Ltd & Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
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D. J. Croft
D. J. Croft
Croft Scientific and Technical & Kenneth Pye Associates Ltd, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
232
ISBN electronic:
9781862394803
Publication date:
January 01, 2004

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