Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target, Cutaway

Whole Object Name

Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target, Cutaway

Collection

Space Oddities

Description

Aluminium honeycomb target showing the impact crater after being hit by a projectile from a hypervelocity gun. It has been cut in half to show the internal damage.

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. By cutting the sample in half, it is possible to see the internal damage to the aluminium honeycomb structure. Despite only having been struck by a small object, the energy at such great speed has had a significant impact.

Object number

2000-78
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target, Cutaway
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target, Cutaway
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target, Cutaway
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target, Cutaway
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target, Cutaway
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target, Cutaway
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target, Cutaway
  • image Aluminium Honeycomb Hypervelocity Impact Target, Cutaway

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