Alexander E. Filippov, Stanislav N. Gorb, Valentin L. Popov

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Recent progress in space research and in particular appearance of complex movable constructions with a number of components exposed to the extreme conditions of open space causes a strong demand for development of new tribological and adhesion systems which are able to resist such conditions. In the last few years, many engineering solutions in the field of tribology and adhesion have been found based on “biomimetics approach” that is searching for ideas originally created by living nature and optimized during billions of years of natural selection. Surprisingly some of the living creatures are found to be optimized even for survival for a long time in the conditions of open space. Such ability is very promising from the point of view of development of new adhesives for future space applications. In this paper we discuss what we can learn in this context from the so-called “water bears” (tardigrades) in a combination with some other features, already adopted to reversible technical adhesives from other animals, such as insects and Gecko lizards.

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