A discussion of the spectrum of thermal environments and functional requirements for materials used in space vehicles. A desire by designers to operate materials at the highest permissible temperature and the necessity to minimize the structural weight are two major criteria considered. Future possibilities in materials are investigated: For maximum temperatures the metals, carbon, and carbides are studied, while for minimum-weight requirements fibered materials for tension elements, and beryllium for buckling components, are discussed. Improvements in performance of space-flight vehicles are listed, and topics for research in each material area are presented.
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