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Proceedings Paper

Contamination observed on the Passive Optical Sample Assembly-I (POSA-I) experiment
Author(s): James M. Zwiener; Rachel R. Kamenetzky; Jason A. Vaughn; Miria M. Finckenor
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Paper Abstract

The passive optical sample assembly-I (POSA-I), part of the Mir Environmental Effects Payload (MEEP), was designed to study the combined effects of contamination, atomic oxygen, UV radiation, vacuum, thermal cycling, and other constituents of the space environment on spacecraft materials. The MEEP program is a Phase 1 International Space Station Risk Mitigation Experiment. The payload was attached by EVA to the exterior of the Mir docking module during the Space Shuttle mission STS-76. It was removed during STS-86 after exposure to the Mir space station environment for 18 months. POSA-I consists of nearly 400 samples of thermal control paints, chemical conversion coatings, mirrors, optics, and baseline materials for International Space Station. POSA-I also flew state-of-the-art materials and passive instruments for monitoring the atomic oxygen and UV radiation dose to the experiment. Pre- and post-flight characterization of candidate spacecraft materials is discussed. Contamination was detected on the POSA-I experiment. On the side facing space, visible contamination was observed. The contamination was uniform as would occur from a slow photodeposition process. A very definite film was deposited on the optical samples. The deposition appears to have directionality with definite shadowing effects. On the side facing the main Mir core, no visible contamination was noted.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 October 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3427, Optical Systems Contamination and Degradation, (27 October 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.328492
Show Author Affiliations
James M. Zwiener, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Rachel R. Kamenetzky, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jason A. Vaughn, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Miria M. Finckenor, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3427:
Optical Systems Contamination and Degradation
Philip T. C. Chen; William E. McClintock; Gary J. Rottman, Editor(s)

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