The Phoenix Mars Lander, the International Space Station and hundreds of satellite and aerospace applications: Gore products have provided reliable, time-tested and proven solutions to the most challenging aerospace missions since the early sixties. We first applied our understanding of materials and how they interact with varied environments in 1962 during the launch of the first US TV satellite; Gore cables helped to allow the live feed on transatlantic television. Our products were also present on the first space shuttle mission as fibres woven into the outer layer of astronauts’ space suits.

As spaceflight has evolved, Gore has continued to innovate — ensuring product success in environments where failure isn’t an option. To date, we have supplied solutions for more than 80 spaceflight programmes around the globe.

Above the insulating atmosphere of the earth, spacecrafts are exposed to extremely hot and cold temperatures, a significantly increased threat of radiation damage, and the high vacuum in outer space. Additionally, ultraviolet light, x-rays, high energy-charged particles and atmospheric atoms put materials under stress, making them more vulnerable to corrosion. Another significant challenge is the outgassing of materials in vacuum environments — and, as a consequence, condensation on sensitive electronic and optical equipment.

In addition to these factors, with spacecrafts being thousands of miles from the Earth with no means to make repairs, reliability is an absolute must.

At Gore, we work closely with partners, especially the two major space organisations — NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and ESA (European Space Agency) — to share our field of expertise for the good of space exploration. We also see a rising demand for space projects in emerging countries like India or China. No matter our aerospace partners, we’re involved in every phase of our products’ lifetime cycles; doing so is key to ensuring our products contribute to the overall success of the mission.

Fluoropolymers for Outer Space

Gore’s response to the most pressing challenges for robust designs under harshest environmental conditions is expanded Polytetrafluorethylene (ePTFE). No matter if applied in low earth orbit (160km to 2000km above earth), geostationary orbit (35,000 km above the equator) or deep space, our products leverage this extraordinary polymer to ensure that power and data are delivered safely and reliably. 

As systems need to communicate with each other, signal transmission and onboard processing are crucial to the success and safety of the spacecraft mission. GORE® Datalines ensure that signals are transmitted reliably. Their high electrical performance combined with mechanical robustness makes them a good fit for applications in low earth orbit (LEO), geostationary earth orbit (GEO) and deep space applications.

Bidirectional, high-speed data transmission is mainly needed for radar sensors, high-resolution cameras or Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) to test satellites before they launch. GORE® SpaceWire Cables have stood the test in applications like the International Space Station and the James Webb Space Telescope.

Cables delivering power are just as critical as the system that generates it. GORE® Power Distribution and RF Cables deliver the power necessary to ensure highly sensible systems and subsystems work.

As a final spaceflight solution, GORE® Spaceflight Microwave/RF Assemblies transmit data gathered from spacecraft instruments to the board’s probe and back to Earth. Again, absolute reliability is a key factor as these assemblies are deployed in missions that are extraordinarily difficult due to their extreme distances from home. Our microwave assemblies are implemented in NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft seeking to understand where Pluto and its moons “fit in” with the other objects in the solar system. They’re also part of the Mars Orbiter Mission from India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO). We’re proud to say that our GORE® Spaceflight Microwave/RF Assemblies have delivered more than 30 years of service with a 100% failure-free flight record.

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