DuPont’s lightweight, flexible materials are remaking the cardiovascular system of satellites, putting global broadband within reach.
On an overcast day in late March, a 55-foot Electron rocket sat on a launchpad high above the crashing surf of New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. The rocket, built by American aerospace manufacturer Rocket Lab, held a single experimental satellite called R3D2 that had been commissioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA. The precious payload would help the agency test high-speed communications technology that could help pave the way for space-based internet connectivity. In the civilian world, technology like this could prove integral to building 5G networks on the ground and delivering satellite broadband to populations around the globe.