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How to pack your bag for a mission to mars

Spoiler alert technical textiles will be required.


What is the major driver for technical textiles? Develop new reinforcement fabrics for composites, Adrian Wilson sates after Techtextil show in Frankfurt.

Technical textiles account for a large proportion of materials that have to be transported for a space journey. Examples of products in which such materials can be found where at display at the  ‘Living in Space’ exhibition during Techtextil und Texprocess which this year was organised by Messe Frankfurt in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).

Given the wide variety of application of technical textiles, the exhibit was organized in categories: ‘Architecture’, ‘Civilization’, ‘Clothing’ and ‘Mobility’.


Visitors got a glimpse of how building in space could function at the ‘Architecture’ area where concern budged around with lightweight. Fabrics must be made in extremely light grammage, and resist high-temperatures.

In fact, ultra-lightweight materials play a leading role in space travel because the lighter the space capsule’s load, the cheaper the transport. 


Space-wear should not only protect the wearer from extreme temperatures but also regulate their body temperature, drain off moisture and be durable and easy to clean. And don’t forget it also has to look good.

Body, apparel and climate interaction under conditions of weightlessness were tested during the mission.

Suits on display had numerous technological properties such as an integrated library of fragrances to remind the wearer of the earth, ‘containing electrodes that stimulate important muscle groups under conditions of weightlessness, including a sleeping bag made from silver-coated textiles, which can also be used as an overall and protects the wearer from electro-magnetic radiation.

Silver threads are used in the manufacture of another garment – raincoats – due to its light reflection and body heat preservation.

Material Gallery offered ideas for fibre-based materials and processing technology suitable for use in space showing fibre-composite structures made of carbon fibres, such as a robot arm, a whole-body suit that transmits the wearer’s movements to a 3D model in real-time, functional apparel textiles with flame-retardant, anti-bacterial and temperature-regulating properties, and membrane systems for ventilating aircraft.

Civilization segment included fabrics for growing vegetables.

Mobility was mainly about carbon yarn, which was used to make a fairing for the solid-fuel booster rocket of the Ariane 6.

We are now almost two decades into the 211st Century and it’s a brave new world.

Source 1.