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Space Environmental Effects on Materials -- October Meeting

  • October 11, 2017
  • Michael's at Shoreline 2960 Shoreline Blvd
  • Mountain View , CA , USA


October Chapter Meeting

Space Environmental Effects on Materials

Speaker: David Knapp

Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center

Wednesday, the 11th of October  we will be meeting at Michael's at Shoreline  2960 Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View

5:30 pm Social/Networking…6:15 pm Dinner…7:30 pm Speaker

Buffet Dinner Cost: ASM Members $30……Students $10……Guests $35…..Talk only - Free

Reservations: Contact Al Kwong at (408) 248-1916 or or Jack Jew at



Prior to the beginning of the space age with the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union in October 1957, most considered space generally empty, however, after six decades of space flight experience, we now know that space is anything but empty. Above the Karman line, the often used height limit of 100km (62.1mi) defining the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space, a variety of environments are encountered that can cause an array of effects on both biological and non-biological materials. The primary environments can be broken down into five major groups: vacuum, neutral, plasma, radiation, and micrometeoroid/space debris. These environments affect materials in different ways and are highly dependent on the altitude above the Earth, the presence and velocity of objects within the environment, and the varying state of the Sun and other celestial bodies. Satellites launched into space need to be engineered to survive these environments, and more specifically, the materials used in the construction of the satellites need to be specifically selected and/or modified for the specific space environment that the satellite will encounter during its lifetime. This material selection and "space-rating", as it is often called, of components begins early on in a satellites development cycle, and often requires specialized space environmental testing to characterize a specific material/environment interaction. The Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto has recently opened a new space environmental effects testing lab, the Space Plasma and Radiation Center (SPARC), to continue the research and development of new materials designed for use on future spacecraft. The development of new materials for spaceflight and the testing of those materials on the ground, is a requirement for the improvement of future satellites, the advancement of space technology, and the continuation of the space age.


David Knapp received his BSc and MSc in Aerospace Engineering with a focus in ion thruster development from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California in 2012. He began his career in the aerospace industry with Lockheed Martin working in mission operations for large communication satellites, by overseeing the operation and analysis of the propulsion and attitude determination systems during orbit raising and station keeping burn maneuvers. After several years working in mission ops he then transferred into the satellite propulsion system integration and test prior to launch, where he oversaw the development and testing of thrusters, valves and propulsion tanks. In 2015, David began working in the Space Environmental Effects Group at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, and shortly thereafter took over management of the group. The group now operates 5 separate vacuum chambers that simulate the various space environments for life testing of new material development for use in space.

Contact Us!


Any comments, corrections, additions or suggestions will reach us through our email:       We will be happy to hear from you.

Our officers for this season are

Chairman      William Slocumb

Vice-Chair     Jason James

Treasurer       Shawn Hussey

Secretary       Paul Flowers


The Materials Science seniors are starting their capstone projects for the year.  If you have a materials related issue where you could use the assistance of a student for reasearching the solution or if you have internships available, please contact William Slocumb at


Calendar of Events

Here is our Tentative plan for the season's meeting speakers


Special Recognition



Sept 13

Past Chairman's Night

Electrodeposited Coatings

F. Honey, Ret

Oct 11


Space Environmental Effects on Materials

D. Knapp, LMCO

Nov 8

 Student Night

SJSU Senior Project Proposals


Dec 6

Companion's Night

History of Moffett Field

John Mascali

Jan 10


Space Systems Topic

J. Zils, SSL

Feb 14

 Fellows Night

Advancements in Telescope Technologies for SOFIA

C. Kaminski

Mar 14


Additive Manufacturing and Mechanical Reliability

O. Keles, SJSU

Apr 11

 Awards Night

Damage Tolerant Metals for Extreme  Environments

Dr Ellen Cerreta

ASMI Trustee

May 9


Advancements in Glass Technology

Gary Trott, Owens Corning


Chapter Sustaining Members


We would like to thank the following corporations who support our chapter through sustaining membership support.

Thermofusion provides heat treating services that include carburizing, nitriding, case-hardening, through-hardening, annealing, stress relief, vacuum and flame hardening, induction treating and cryogenic treating. Our brazing services include vacuum, hydrogen, torch, induction and dip brazing. ThermoFusion Inc -- .,

Lockheed Martin Corporation, an advanced technology company, is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, and integration of advanced technology systems, products, and services.

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