How is mylar useful in space exploration?

Mylar is used by people here on Earth for all kinds of things from food wrapping to blankets to glitter. I've seen mylar-wrapped spacecraft in museums and in documentaries, but I am not sure how it's being used. What is the purpose of wrapping spacecraft in such a delicate material?

  Topic Science Subtopic
8 Months 2 Answers 722 views

Sarah C

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Answers ( 2 )

  1. Steve Miller 5 Community Answer

    The material that you saw on the spacecraft wrap is probably Kapton.  It is similar in appearance to mylar,  but has outstanding thermal conductivity at temperatures as low as .5-5 K.  It is also good in high vaccum situations due to its low outgassing rates.

    UTC 2021-02-19 09:05 PM 0 Comments
  2. It could be gold-coated Mylar or Kapton, for shielding against heat transfer by thermal radiation.  You have probably seen "space blankets" or "super-insulation" made from aluminized Mylar; gold works better, but aluminum is cheaper.  

    UTC 2021-02-21 12:07 AM 0 Comments

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