Tire performance to be enhanced in space

Goodyear will test the material used in tire manufacturing as a part of a project of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. The knowledge acquired will help Goodyear scientists and engineers to further develop and enhance the passenger car tires performance.

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announces a return into space where the components of its tires will be tested at the US National Laboratory, operating in the International Space Station (ISS). Scientists will study the formation of silica particles and thus explore the impact of the use of unique silica forms in tires to enhance performance.

With an expected launch on July 21, the SpaceX CRS-18 spacecraft will head to the ISS with a Goodyear experiment equipment on board. The astronauts aboard the ISS will conduct the Goodyear-prepared silica experiment while Goodyear scientists will simultaneously carry out the same experiment in the company’s labs, allowing a comparison when the space research results are studied later.

Goodyear returns to space almost 50 years after the company supplied essential products for the Apollo 11 spacecraft on its mission to the Moon in 1969. Goodyear was already involved in the launching process – its brakes helped the missiles move into place on the launch pads, their “purge and conditioning” system helped the engines circulate the gases; the window frame of the command module was Goodyear-manufactured, as was the panel which the landing instruments were mounted on. Goodyear also contributed to the return: when Apollo 11 splashed down into the ocean upon its return to Earth, the capsule was kept upright by Goodyear-made flotation bags, so the astronauts could crawl into recovery rafts. Also, the Goodyear tires were mounted on a trolley to carry equipment and samples of the Moon surface.

As said by Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s chief technology officer, upon the tests announcement, space exploration at that time has served as inspiration for so much innovation. “We at Goodyear are proud of our legacy of participation, which continues with this upcoming experiment in microgravity,” he added.

Nejc Horvat

Advisor

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