What Would NASA Use? – A paper that can take it!
Written by Liam Cummings
Marketing Manager, Paper and Value Add Media
Archival properties of paper had long been a concern with the ability to image on it and to retain the finished documents for some long duration of time. But, along with the propagation of xerographic devices and digital printers, paper has evolved to a point where archival traits can almost be assumed. But that is only of interest if the document is locked away for safe keeping. How do you think your paper would hold up to wind, water, or weather? When it came time for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to purchase media that they were certain could hold-up to the stresses that this agency’s operation can provide, they purchased Xerox Premium Never Tear, a synthetic paper made from polyester film.
There were really a couple of stresses and situations that made this media selection ideal for NASA, not the least of which are their earthly applications. These most certainly included reference charts and documents at mission control, charts, manuals, and instruction cards on the launch pad, as well as under water use in the zero gravity training pool in Houston, TX. The form and function of these documents is very important as one might guess, and because this media could hold up to wear without lamination it made updates as quick and easy as printing another one. Of course in space the print shops are not in the closest of proximity, so the longevity of the documents are cherished. This environment made Premium Never Tear an idyllic choice for the quick reference charts on space suits, as well as all onboard documentation for the International Space Station as well as the Space Shuttle.
Back on earth my family had some lost cat posters made up on Xerox Premium Never Tear stock and attached them to the neighborhood phone poles. After all, this media will stand up to harshest of environments and we did not want our plea for help to be diluted by weather. Sad to say the cat has not been heard from and more than a year has gone by, but not long ago I found one of the posters that had blown into the weeds. While I won’t re-post it, I could have washed off the dirt and grime that had built up and re-attached it to the pole looking as good as it did in the summer of 2011.