Saint-Gobain glass aboard the International Space Station

January 16 2017

Saint-Gobain Research has supplied samples for the MATISS experience led by the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet in the International Space Station (ISS).

Saint-Gobain glass aboard the International Space Station

Saint-Gobain Research has supplied samples for the MATISS experience led by the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet in the International Space Station (ISS). Designed by the ENS-Lyon and with the participation of Leti, the CEA’s technology institute, the CNES and the CNRS/Saint-Gobain mixed unit, the experimentation is aimed at testing antibacterial materials to reduce the contamination of the station’s walls, before using it for Earth-bound applications, such as uttons on lifts and public transport handrails.

Given the ISS’s confined environment, a breeding ground for the development of pathogenic micro-organisms due to the on-going recycling of air and water and the on-board storage of waste, the European Space Agency (ESA) sees the MATISS experiment as an interesting way of testing new materials that could stop bacterial colonisation and proliferation in this weightless enclosed environment.

Four identical plates bearing six strips of glass coated in different materials are placed in the European laboratory Columbus and the ISS’s air vents. Thomas Pesquet will bring them back to Earth at the end of his six-month mission to have them analysed.