Standard Article

Spacecraft Structure

  1. Mauro Montabone

Published Online: 20 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118097298.weoc229

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

How to Cite

Montabone, M. 2012. Spacecraft Structure . Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites. 1–24.

Author Information

  1. Thales Alenia Space, Turin, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUL 2012


In the frame of the space applications, the trend of looking for light weight and higher performance spacecraft structures is considered a design driver for the cost reduction and exploration applications.

In commercial applications, the saving of few kilograms per pounds enable the decreasing of the fuel mass as well as extends lifetime and use of small-dimension launcher systems.

The use of composite materials addresses to the demand of lightness not only for specific strength and stiffness but also for corrosion, fatigue resistance, tailor able thermal conduction and expansion properties, as well as possibility of complex shapes design.

This paragraph shows some of the present innovative applications achieved using composites and their enabling technologies in antennas/reflectors, optical benches, solar arrays, satellites platforms, launch vehicle structures, and exploration infrastructures.


  • spacecraft;
  • structure;
  • launcher;
  • inflatable;
  • satellite;
  • antenna;
  • reflector;
  • platform;
  • lander;
  • stability;
  • re-entry;
  • habitation module;
  • cabin