A spaceship's purpose is to transport its passengers and crew members out of Earth’s atmosphere and into space. However, journey from Earth to space is not as simple as it sounds. Space travel is filled with potential risks and dangers. One of most serious threats to a spacecraft is extreme temperatures encountered both in space and during re-entry. The tremendous heat associated with entering an Earth atmosphere can damage or destroy a spacecraft and all its precious cargo. To protect against these temperatures, spacecraft must be equipped with a heat shield.
Heat shields, also known as thermal protection systems, are special materials made to withstand harsh temperatures and keep a spacecraft safe and intact. Heat shields work by absorbing heat generated during re-entry and distributing it evenly and safely over surface of spacecraft. They can be made from materials such as carbon-carbon composites, ceramic tiles, and even a special type of foam. This way, spacecraft can be protected from extreme temperatures and safely steered to a successful landing.
Heat shields also help to protect a spacecraft from other environmental threats. When a spacecraft is in space, it is exposed to small pieces of debris, meteors and radiation. The heat shield works to absorb these particles and avoid any potential damage to spacecraft.
A spacecraft’s heat shield must be tested and re-calibrated several times before a mission can be completed. During a mission, a heat shield must remain in good condition in order for mission to be a success. If a heat shield is damaged, it can cause serious damage to spacecraft and put mission and lives of passengers and crew in danger.
Heat shields are an important part of a spacecraft’s design. Without them, a spacecraft could not pass through atmosphere safely and would be in danger of being destroyed. Heat shields help to protect a spacecraft from extreme temperatures and debris of space and ensure a successful mission.