Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target

Whole Object Name

Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target

Collection

Space Oddities

Description

Square aluminium honeycomb target showing the impact crater after being hit by a projectile from a hypervelocity gun.

In space even small specks of material can cause major damage when travelling at high speed. Micrometeoroids - small pieces of rock or metal, travelling incredibly fast - are common in space. They pose a great risk to spacecraft and satellites, especially those that are designed to operate in space for many years. Bigger pieces of space debris can have catastrophic consequences for astronauts, spacecraft or satellites, as, at such speeds they could puncture materials creating holes.

Scientists study terminal ballistics to experiment with extremely high-speed impacts. Doing this helps to see how different materials and structures cope with being struck by objects at speeds like those that could be experienced in space. This sample is an example of this scientific study. A square aluminium honeycomb is attached to a thick aluminium sheet, through which a blackened central area can be seen that was caused by the impact.

Object number

2000-77
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target

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