Duct tape – what can’t it do?

Another repair in space made with duct tape was on the Hubble Space Telescope. During the second servicing mission back in 1997, the astronauts found that some of the insulation near the light shield and on the leading side (ram direction) had torn or otherwise failed. The lesson learned was that the insulation material was taut, and forty thousand or so thermal cycles later, the Teflon cracked apart. The ultraviolet radiation and atomic oxygen did their damage, too.

The astronauts had been trained in how to patch the insulation in the event of space debris/micrometeoroid impact damage, but this damage was over a larger area. During breaks between spacewalks, the astronauts put together several thermal blanket patches with good old duct tape.

STS-82 astronaut Scott Horowitz with a thermal blanket patch.

A couple of spacewalks later, and the patches looked pretty good.

Patch in place on Hubble.

One more thing made out of duct tape? A homage to “Home Improvement”.

**Tim Allen grunts**

So what has duct tape done for you?

4 thoughts on “Duct tape – what can’t it do?”

  1. Red Green approves of this. If the ladies don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  2. Duct tape saved me (further) embarrassment in Mosul in 2006…dismounting a JERRV at a traffic circle for a UXO pickup I snagged the quick release on my plate carrier. The Stryker troops thought it was funny as hell when I hit the ground and the front and back section went bowing outboard with only the belly band keeping it attached to my person. Two minutes to restring it and strategic application of duct tape and I was able to rejoin the team…only a slightly bruised ego to show.

    That’ll teach y’all to send Navy guys to spend time with the green machine.

  3. Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side, and a dark side. And it holds the Universe together.

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