The construction of a solar sail from commercially available metallized film presents several challenges. The solar sail membrane is made by seaming together precut lengths of ultrathin metallized polymer film into the required geometry. This assembled sail membrane is then folded into a small stowage volume prior to launch. The sail membranes must have additional features for connecting to rigid structural elements (e.g., sail booms) and must be electrically grounded to the spacecraft bus to prevent charge build up. Space durability of the material and mechanical interfaces of the sail membrane assemblies will be critical for the success of any solar sail mission. In this study, interfaces of polymer/metal joints in a representative solar sail membrane assembly were tested to ensure that the adhesive interfaces and the fastening grommets could withstand the temperature range and expected loads required for mission success. Various adhesion methods, such as surface treatment, commercial adhesives, and fastening systems, were experimentally tested in order to determine the most suitable method of construction.

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