Specialist fastener manufacturer BUMAX has been selected to provide crucial fasteners to be used on the International Space Station (ISS), securing a new payload going to the ISS to measure the speed of sound.
Text & image by BUMAX
Image © NASA
Granular Sound is an experiment in space to measure the speed of sound through a cube filled with glass balls (a so-called package) in microgravity at different package pressures. The experiment uses thousands of glass balls to simulate granular media like sand or concrete.
“The housing of this package will be securely fastened by BUMAX 88 fasteners to avoid the balls from flying around the ISS,” said Lukas Pfeiffer, Project Manager & Systems Engineer at OHB System AG. “The microgravity experiment will provide valuable data for various terrestrial and space applications – from more effective concrete processing to 3D printing in space or on the moon.”
OHB System AG is a subsidiary of the European space and technology group OHB SE, under contract of the European Space Agency (ESA). OHB SE is a European multinational technology corporation. Headquartered in Bremen, Germany, the corporation consists of three business divisions: Space Systems, Aerospace and Digital. At present, OHB is the third largest corporation in Europe’s space sector.
BUMAX extra strong and fatigue resistant model 88 was selected to securely fasten the housing of the new payload. The enhanced properties of fasteners are achieved through a combination of unique manufacturing processes and the highest quality European steel.
Monitoring air quality for astronauts
Since January 2022, BUMAX 88 screws have also been used for the ANITA-2 trace gas monitoring system to ensure good air quality for the ISS astronauts. The system simultaneously measures more than 40 gases every six minutes on the ISS. The system was developed by OHB System AG. BUMAX 88 screws were used for the ANITA-2 payload to securely seal a safety containment and fasten crucial optical components.
“Being trusted with supplying fasteners for projects such as CERN and ISS, which are essential to the evolution of mankind, is of course a source of immense pride and a testament to the quality of our products and BUMAX as a whole,” said Lars Holm, Managing Director. “Being chosen again and again for the most demanding applications means that all our existing and new customers can rest assured that they are getting the best of the best.”
The International Space Station was launched in 1998 to gain more knowledge about space. It is crewed by up to seven people. The ISS orbits the Earth at an altitude of 400 kilometers and a speed of 28,000 km/h, which means it orbits the Earth every 90 minutes.