Print 8 comment(s) - last by Alexvrb.. on Jan 24 at 12:59 AM

Hollow microfibres will seep liquid adhesive if a puncture occures - Coutesy of ESA
Spaceships are expensive and hard to repair - the ESA is working on programs to have spacecraft "heal" themselves

Researchers at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol, as a part of the ESA's General Studies Programme, may have made a step in the right direction towards the possibility of a self-healing spacecraft.  The researchers apparently got the idea from how human skin heals itself:

When we cut ourselves we don't have to glue ourselves back together, instead we have a self-healing mechanism. Our blood hardens to form a protective seal for new skin to form underneath.
This was done by replacing a small percent of the fibres running through a resinous composite material with hollow fibres that contain adhesive materials.  One of the advantages of a self-healing spacecraft is that it is more likely that NASA could launch longer duration space missions.

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RE: Duh!
By mckrautski on 1/23/2006 3:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
The outgassing properties neeeded for a self-healing material to function in a vacuum may be quite a bit trickier than what can be used under atmospheric pressure...hence it may be quite a bit different than self healing polymers used here on good ol' earth.

RE: Duh!
By Alexvrb on 1/24/2006 12:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
It's still not anything like the title implies. It's not self-healing or self-repairing. It's self plugging at best. Not so terribly different from tire with some Slime in it.

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