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Re: Re: Summary A

Brian Mansur writes:
 > >From Brian
 > >Kelly responce:
 > >Plastics break down when subjected to UV, hard vac, and other things you 
 > get
 > >a lot of in space.
 > Brian
 > Why would hard vacuum be a problem to plastic?  Could the plastic be 
 > shielding from the UV etc.  What are those other things in space that you 
 > are talking about.  X-rays, hard radiation, dust, etc.?  I see a problem 
 > going on here.  URGH! 

Many plastics, especially flexible ones, depend on volatile compounds
mixed with the polymer for their resiliency.  In our normal atmosphere
they can remain flexible for a long time; in a vacuum the volatiles
evaporate more quickly and cause the plastics to become brittle.

Any radiation that might ionize or break down the molecules in polymers
will also gradually destroy plastics.  There's a lot more ionizing
radiation in space than there is on Earth.