KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., July 16, 2019 (ISS National Laboratory PR) – The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory is proud to announce that The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company will be sending a materials science investigation onboard SpaceX’s 18th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-18) mission to the space station.
This investigation will evaluate the formation of precipitated silica particles in microgravity. Silica is a common material used in consumer tires to help enhance fuel efficiency and traction. While advances in silica technology have been made in many key areas of importance for the tire industry, silica microstructure still represents an area where research would be beneficial, and the microgravity environment of the space station could lead Goodyear to the development of unique silica structures, resulting in enhanced tire performance.
Goodyear has long demonstrated innovation in space, beginning with the company’s key contributions to the lunar landing 50 years ago. The latest collaboration highlights the ability to accelerate applied research concepts to station through coordination between researcher partners, commercial facility providers (BioServe Space Technologies), and the ISS National Lab. SpaceX CRS-18 is slated to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (FL) no earlier than July 21, at 7:35p.m. EDT.
The ISS National Lab has partnered with a variety of recognizable brands and companies who have conducted materials science investigations on the space station to better inform research teams on avenues to enhance product design and efficiency. Examples of companies leveraging materials and physical science methodologies through the ISS National Lab include AstraZeneca, Cobra Puma Golf, Eli Lilly & Company, Milliken & Company, and Proctor & Gamble, with many others on the horizon. The microgravity environment onboard the space station can facilitate a strong blend of materials science due to lack of combustion and the loss of buoyancy-driven convection. There are also multiple external facilities for researchers to test their concepts in the harsh environment of space, where there are increased radiation levels and extreme temperature variations to push the limits of a product.
The ISS National Lab has recognized advanced materials as a focus area that has the ability to accelerate applied research, with the potential to bring to market innovative ideas that will demonstrate the industrial capabilities of the orbiting platform to benefit life on Earth and create a sustainable marketplace in low Earth orbit. To learn more about materials and physical science research taking place on the ISS National Lab, visit Physical Sciences Research Onboard the ISS National Lab.
To learn more about the ISS National Lab-sponsored payloads associated with SpaceX CRS-18, visit our launch coverage page.
About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation’s newest national laboratory to optimize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The ISS National Lab manages access to the permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space.