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NETZSCH Instruments North America LLC recently announced it is the sole supplier to Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of high-temperature thermal analysis instruments used to characterize material properties for space applications. The instruments will be used to fine-tune properties of existing materials and to develop new materials for use in the demanding, harsh environments of space. NETZSCH’S ability to custom engineer and modify the instruments to meet specific requirements was reportedly a key factor in SpaceX’s choice of vendors.
SpaceX is reportedly the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, and the first to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station—a technically challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments. In October 2012, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft again successfully delivered cargo to and from the space station, in its first official cargo resupply mission for NASA.
NETZSCH’s instruments will be used to measure basic material and other thermophysical properties. Some of these properties will include first, second and third order transitions; coefficient of thermal expansion and contraction; modulus; energy adsorption dampening; heat capacity; thermal diffusivity; and thermal conductivity; as well as software and heat transfer data.