The Dragon spacecraft, according to SpaceX, had supported previous resupply missions to the International Space Station. Photo: @SpaceX/Twitter
Goodyear has announced it will be investigating advanced materials in space, onboard the SpaceX CRS-18 mission scheduled for launch on 24 July.
The 18th resupply mission by the Elon Musk-founded company to the International Space Station (ISS), Space X CRS-18’s launch date, despite delays, is now slated for 24 July--exactly 50 years after the Apollo 11, which landed the first humans on the moon, returned to Earth.
After leaving Cape Canaveral, the Dragon spacecraft carrying “about 5,500 pounds of science, cargo and crew supplies for the microgravity laboratory”, according to partner Nasa, should reach the ISS by 26 July.
Goodyear plans on testing the formation of silica particles in this laboratory in a bid to enhance consumer tyres. According to the ISS, silica improves traction as well as fuel efficiency, but its microstructure could benefit from additional research.
“The ISS National Lab investigation from Goodyear will evaluate the formation of precipitated silica particles in the functional absence of gravity onboard the ISS, where the team may be able to observe novel molecular structures or morphologies of silica not previously observed on Earth,” the ISS added in a recent press release.
It isn’t the first time Goodyear has gone to space: the tyre manufacturer also had a role in the Apollo 11 mission, having supplied the brakes for the launch pad missiles, a system to help circulate hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, as well as the command module window frame and landing instrument panel. Flotation bags, made by Goodyear, also helped keep the landing capsule upright after its successful return to Earth.
In April, Goodyear announced a $36m injection into its Colmar-Berg facilities. The tyre manufacturer boasts some 64,000 employees in 47 facilities, including its main innovation centres in northern Luxembourg and Akron, Ohio (US).