Lamborghini's research into carbon fiber is reaching new heights, as the company announced it will send the material into space to study its resilience when dealing with the brutal effects of the final frontier. This will make the House of the Raging Bull the first automaker to conduct such research in outer space.
In early November, an unmanned Northrop Grumman Antares rocket is slated to deliver five different Lamborghini-made carbon fiber samples to the International Space Station. The composites will spend six months onboard the ISS undergoing various tests, including exposure to large amounts of cosmic radiation and severe temperature deviations ranging from -40 to 392 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lamborghini's end goal isn't just to learn how to further incorporate carbon fiber into its cars, but also for general manufacturing (such as a replacement for aluminum) and medical purposes. The mission is part of a collaboration between the Italian supercar manufacturer and the Houston Methodist Research Institute. It began two years ago in order to research carbon fiber's usage in prosthetic limbs, and it seems that the material now has potential otherworldly capabilities.
“We are very proud,” said Stefano Domenicali, chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “Lamborghini is breaking ground as the first automaker in the world to conduct carbon fiber materials science research on the ISS. In addition to representing an important example of corporate social responsibility, this mission is also fully in line with our philosophy and values. Lamborghini is a brand that has always been committed to going beyond limits in every area of its activity and to being a pioneer in the realm of technology.”
Carbon fiber has already proved its worth as both a lightweight and durable material. It was recently found to be a contributing factor in Bugatti's successful 300-mph speed record, showing that it could be used for more than just saving weight. On top of that, McLaren now has its own $65 million technology center solely dedicated to the stuff.
With carbon fiber's versatility, the possibilities for its usage really are out of this world.