The galactic and solar radiation effect on astronauts in space during manned-space missions is one of the issues that scientists are dealing with to overcome this disaster. Furthermore, in space missions to Mars, Titan, and beyond, a powerful propulsion system is required. Recently, with the enhancement of technology in plasma generation, scientists tried to design and build a plasma radiation shield and plasma propulsion system to create a safe and reliable space-craft for long-term space missions. In the present research, an attempt is made to estimate the thermal fatigue life of unidirectional carbon fiber/epoxy composite in the presence of plasma radiation shield and/or plasma propulsion systems. In order to produce a plasma radiation shield and/or plasma propulsion system, a strong magnet that generates a magnetic field for electron cloud is required. For charging magnets, appropriate power supplies are needed. Each of the different power supplies has different operating temperatures that have effect on the thermal fatigue life of space-vehicles structure. In this study, with a new method, thermal fatigue life of unidirectional carbon fiber/epoxy composite which is exposed to different power supplies thermal cycles is predicted. The results have indicated that the new method represents 32.2 % less thermal fatigue life when compared to the previous method. Space-crafts are currently being built with carbon materials such as unidirectional carbon fiber/epoxy composite, due to their lightweights and high strength.
Key words: Plasma shield, plasma propulsion, power supply, astronauts’ health, composites, thermal fatigue life.
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