University of Central Lancashire Researchers Send Graphene into Near Space

January 08 2018

In the first experiment of its kind, researchers at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are exploring the practical applications of exploiting graphene in the UK space industry. This has been achieved through the launch of specially designed graphene-enhanced carbon fiber material into near space using high altitude balloons.

Led by UCLan and part-funded by the UK Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme, this unique investigation will see the balloons reaching heights of 115,000ft, which is four times the height reached by an average aeroplane.

By comparing a graphene-enhanced carbon fiber to a standard carbon fiber casing, researchers will be able to test how both react to extreme conditions high above the Earth. They will then compare the results to determine how graphene can be utilized in space.

The graphene-enhanced materials have been produced by industrial partners Haydale Composite Solutions Ltd, while the high-altitude balloons used for the launch were provided by Sent Into Space.

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