Varta supplies high-performance battery for space mission
In a few weeks, a shuttle with equipment for a new mission in space will launch to the International Space Station (ISS). On board will be a lithium-ion polymer battery from Varta Storage. This is already the second time Varta batteries have gone into space. After all, it was a Varta battery that provided the energy in Neil Armstrong’s camera when he became the first human to set foot on the moon in 1969.
Customized energy solution
One of the aims of this new mission, which involves several astronauts spending around six months on board the ISS, is to produce important findings by continuously monitoring the crew’s health. The customized energy solution that the subsidiary Varta Storage developed specially for the mission supplies the energy needed for a device that measures the astronauts’ muscle tension.
“We are very proud that our battery solution has been selected for the space mission,” says Herbert Schein, CEO of Varta. “The demands on a battery for a space mission are very high. It has to withstand extraordinary conditions, so we are delighted we can contribute to the success of the mission.”
A year of comprehensive testing
Before receiving approval for the ISS mission, the Varta Easy Pack XL underwent a year of comprehensive testing. The battery from the long-standing company Varta proved superior to the battery packs from other manufacturers in the selection process, which was designed to eliminate any safety risk to the crew on board the International Space Station and ensure reliable measurements despite the exceptional circumstances. The batteries are part of MyotonS, an ISS experiment supported by the Space Administration section of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The aim of the research project is to investigate muscle wasting in humans under weightless conditions. The Varta battery’s part in this is to supply energy to the Myoton Pro device. The initiators hope the results of the study will provide a deeper understanding of the human muscular system. Varta Storage developed the battery solution for Myoton Pro together with Dutch company Texim Europe.
Meet NASA safety requirements
The tests on the batteries were conducted in collaboration with aerospace specialist OHB System AG and included subjecting the batteries to strong vibrations and negative pressure to ensure they would not leak. In the end, they confirmed that the Varta Easy Pack XL meets NASA safety requirements and exhibits an impressive level of reliability. It can therefore fly into space in the name of science in 2018. (HCN)
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