NASA on Thursday evening released conceptual photos of its Orion spacecraft featuring a new, metallic-based coating that will defend the automobile both in orbit and for the duration of its fiery return to Earth.
Engineers at Johnson Space Center have decided to add a silver coating to the back shell panels of the spacecraft, which will help Orion regulate its temperature. When in space, as Orion faces away from the Sun, the new insulating coating will help hold the vehicle warm. And when the spacecraft is in direct sunlight the coating will maintain the interior of the spacecraft cooler.
NASA says the coating will aid Orion’s back shell keep a temperature on the exterior of the spacecraft from -100°C to to 290°C even though in space. It will also assist shield Orion from electrical charges for the duration of the practically 40,000 kph return velocities from the vicinity of the Moon.