Material made by B.C.’s Aluula being used in space habitats

BC firm's materials in space

A Victoria composite materials company that developed a super-strong, lightweight polyethylene material used in a range out outdoor recreation equipment could soon be used by astronauts in space in inflatable space habitats.

Max Space, an American company that is developing expandable space habitats, is now incorporating composite materials made by Aluula Composites (TSX-V:AUUA).

Aluula’s innovation was developing a heat fusion process for working with ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) to make a super-tough lightweight material.

It is being used as part of a custom laminate that adds strength and durability to structural elements to the Max Space habitat, “making it possible to create a large living and working area at a fraction of the weight and transport costs of traditional crew modules,” Aluula said in a press release.

Max Space recently showcased its new expandable space habitat at the 39th Space Symposium on April 9.

“The laminate used in the habitat has an incredible strength-to-weight ratio with a combination of high resistance polymers, which is ideal for use in applications where weight and safety is critical, like space travel,” said ALUULA chief innovation officer Richard Myerscough.

The first Max Space inflatable space habitat is slated to launch with SpaceX in 2026. The Max Space inflatables can be delivered into space in very small packages and then unfolded and expanded to create a much larger work space.

“This has been an exciting project to be involved with and we’re proud of the part that ALUULA is playing in exploring the possibilities of space habitation,” Aluula CEO Sage Berryman said.

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