NASA utilizes thousands of materials to build the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. As part of the Artemis program, Tex Tech is a supplier of materials used as a thermal ablative material in the Space Launch System’s solid-fueled rocket nozzles on the SRB (solid rocket booster) and Orion’s LAS (launch abort system).

What is a Thermal Protection System?

Thermal protection systems are crucial components in aircraft and space orbiters, serving to regulate temperatures, especially during reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Made up of a combination of high-temperature-resistant surface fabric and thermal insulation, these systems protect the outer structure and its contents from both intense heat and cold temperatures encountered at high altitudes. The TPS helps maintain appropriate temperatures, preserving the airframe and ensuring safe and successful missions.

Thermal protective systems are produced using:

  • Ablative assemblies
  • 3D textiles
  • Current TPS products
  • Legacy TPS products
  • Felt Reusable Surface Insulation (FRSI)
  • Tile Bonding
  • Reinforced Carbon Carbon (RCC)
  • Infused Stabilized Abrasive Insulation Felt
  • Multi-layer Felt Hybrids (MFH)

Tex Tech Industries supplies material used to form an ablative structure inside solid-fueled rocket nozzles. It protects the metal structure of the vehicle from the extreme heat generated during the launch.

Why Thermal Protection is Critical for the Future of Orion and the Artemis Program

NASA’s Artemis program is an effort to put astronauts on the lunar surface with the goal of developing an ongoing presence there. The most challenging objective of the Artemis mission is to utilize the moon as a stepping stone for a future mission to Mars.

As the exploration vehicle for the program, the Orion spacecraft has been designed with the utmost care and attention to detail, incorporating over 50 years of spaceflight research and development. The first integrated mission, Artemis I, will see an uncrewed Orion venture thousands of miles beyond the moon over a period of about six weeks. Artemis I will lay the foundation for future missions, including the launch of Artemis II, where the Orion spacecraft will serve as the crew’s transport to space. The Orion will not only transport the astronauts, but it will also provide the necessary support for their missions and offer emergency abort capabilities in case of an unforeseen event. The spacecraft is designed to ensure a safe return from deep space with its capabilities for re-entry from high velocities.

One of the most critical components of the Orion spacecraft is its thermal protection system, which is responsible for protecting both the spacecraft and the future astronauts it will carry from the dangers of deep space travel. The success of the thermal protection system is essential to the success of future missions.

Learn More About Thermal Protections Systems with Tex Tech

The aerospace and aviation industries rely on thermal protection systems to guard against the extreme heat and cold associated with the launch of spacecraft, high altitudes, and atmospheric re-entry conditions. Tex Tech Industries develops thermal protection systems that meet rigorous demands and can perform reliably under intense conditions.

For over a hundred years, Tex Tech has been a leading manufacturer of technical textiles. The company continues to be at the cutting edge of innovation in high-performance textiles. We deliver individualized solutions for the most challenging applications.

Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or to request a quote.