Abstract

A number of samples of optical thin film materials were flown on Shuttle flight STS-8 as part of an experiment to evaluate their interaction with residual atomic oxygen in low earth orbit. Osmium was selected because of its usefulness as a reflective optical coating for far-UV instruments and for confirmation of results from previous Shuttle flights in which such coatings disappeared. Reflectance data and photographic evidence are presented to support the hypothesis that the osmium disappearance is due to reaction with oxygen to form a volatile oxide. Platinum and iridium, which were included for comparison, fared much better.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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