By Nick Gilbert
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a designer and manufacturer of advanced rockets and spacecraft, has used a protective coating from Alion Science and Technology, a company that provides advanced engineering and technology solutions to reinforce national defense, homeland security, energy generation and the environment, in its cargo section of the Dragon spacecraft.
Dragon is the first commercial vehicle to successfully connect to the International Space Station (ISS). The conductive thermal control coating has been applied to the Dragon Trunk.
Shipment of aerospace hardware parts to a stationary coatings plant can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. Hence, engineers from Alion Science and Technology designed a portable coatings application system that can be transported easily onsite. With the system, the company’s professionals applied protective coatings directly at SpaceX’s facilities.
Chris Amos, Senior Vice President and Manager of the Technology Solutions Group, Alion Science and Technology, quoted that they are excited to be a part of a major test mission. According to him, their portable application system is a more efficient, time- and cost-saving substitute for shipping components to their coatings laboratory. This system can aid in making the total launch preparation process more effective.
Based in McLean, Virginia, Alion Science and Technology has been developing and applying aerospace coatings on government and commercial satellites and spacecraft since the early days of the U.S.-Russia space race.