Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will be able to shield its planned Dragon space capsule with its own phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (PICA) material, following arc-jet tests at NASA’s Ames Research Center. NASA helped the California-based startup develop its ability to manufacture PICA-X, as it calls the material, for use on the vehicle that may wind up providing commercial transportation to and from the International Space Station. In the tests, the material withstood ...


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