Winter 2013


Falcon 9 takes off

TenCate Advanced Composites has supplied the American space company SpaceX with a wide range of advanced composite materials for the upgraded version of its Falcon 9 booster rocket. This two-stage rocket was successfully launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara (California, USA) on 29 September.

4 composites falcon chris thompson

(Picture: Chris Thompson / SpaceX)

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) develops, tests and produces among other things rocket launch systems and rocket engines. This space transportation company in Hawthorne (California) has developed and built two rockets: the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9. It also manufactured the Dragon space capsule, which, with a Falcon 9, can be launched into orbit. The Falcon 9 and the Dragon have been contracted by NASA to provision the international space station ISS. The first Falcon 9 was launched on 4 June 2010. The second flight began on 8 December 2010 and was the first unmanned flight with the SpaceX Dragon. The first reusable Dragon capsule was launched on 22 May 2012, the destination of this first test flight being the space station ISS. On 24 May André Kuipers coupled the capsule to the ISS.

4 composites falcon 9 lift off

(Picture: Chris Thompson / SpaceX)

Application of composite materials
TenCate Advanced Composites is a leading supplier of advanced composites for use in the aerospace and satellite industry. This relates to both military and commercial projects. Examples of applications in aerospace include solar panels, antennas, reflectors, parts of the skin and the support structure for solar cells, antennas, trusses, communication dishes and heat shields. TenCate Advanced Composites USA supplies SpaceX with a range of products including high temperature prepregs for the structure of spacecraft and bulk moulding compound: a thermoset composite used for injection moulding processes.

4 composites falcon 9

(Picture: SpaceX)

SpaceX continues to set the bar higher and higher, explains Joe Morris, director of TenCate Advanced Composites USA. ‘The company truly demonstrates the power of innovation and teamwork. We are proud and honoured to be able to support SpaceX on all their key platforms with our advanced composite materials.’

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)