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The Idea Factory

The Idea Factory: The satellite that repairs itself

Aerospace engineers from Montreal are working on developing resilient new materials for futuristic spacecraft

There are more than 100,000 pieces of space debris orbiting Earth. The threat they pose to spacecraft has inspired researchers to focus on developing resilient new space materials capable of self-repair. Aerospace engineers at Concordia University want to build an experimental satellite from a self-healing chemical composite. The satellite will be "constructed out of carbon fiber (to reinforce it) and an epoxy resin (for its matrix)," said Elizabeth Howell at UniverseToday. Whenever its structure is cracked or dinged, a "healing agent" stored in microcapsules will chemically repair the damage.