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Next-Gen Lamborghinis Will Have Parts Tested in Space

Ever since the International Space Station (ISS) has been up there, floating above our heads, humankind’s knowledge level increased rapidly. That’s because the zero-G conditions have allowed for countless, never-before-possible experiments to be conducted, and incredible new ideas were born.
Lamborghini sending materials for testing to the ISS 5 photos
Lamborghini to test new materials on the ISSLamborghini to test new materials on the ISSLamborghini to test new materials on the ISSLamborghini to test new materials on the ISS
The reach of the ISS has touched nearly all aspects of human activity, with one major exception. Not taking into account GM’s little space play starring the malfunctioning Robonaut, or the more recent commitment of Porsche to help build space exploration robots, car manufacturing has until now been more of a down-to-Earth type of business.

Not anymore, though. The first carmaker to go into space, to the ISS, with a precise goal in mind, is Lamborghini. The Italians, working with the Houston Methodist Research Institute, will send advanced carbon fiber composite materials to the space station, with the goal of testing “the extreme stresses induced by the space environment” on five different materials.

Depending on what is learned, some of these materials would eventually make their way into cars assembled in Sant’Agata Bolognese, but will also be used in the medical field.

“Lamborghini is breaking ground as the first automaker in the world to conduct carbon fiber materials science research on the ISS,” said in a statement Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Automobili Lamborghini.

"Lamborghini is a brand that has always been committed to going beyond limits in every area of its activity and to being a pioneer in the realm of technology.”

One of the five materials, and the one the carmaker has the highest hopes for, is called 3D-printed continuous-fiber composite, and it should allow mechanical performance on par with that of good-quality aluminium.

Pre-impregnated epoxy resin, autoclaved polymer fabric, and discontinuous-fiber composites are some of the other items being tested.

All the Lambo experiments will depart for the ISS next month, on board a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket taking off from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

press release
 

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