Cosmic dust and micrometeorites — small particles ranging in size from several millimetres to a thousand times the size of the former — pose a serious threat for space vehicles. On earth they look like a trifle but when "the trifle" collides with a space vehicle at a huge speed, it brings about craters in the vehicle`s hull along with high energy plasma — a gaseous substance, which consists of constantly moving ions and electrons. It is them that are blamed for inducing electric currents in the vehicle`s electronic systems, which result in their malfunction
By the way, the superdeep penetration phenomenon was discovered by a Belarusian scientist S. Usherenko almost two decades ago. Now the Usherenko effect has been confirmed. The experiment also showed that the effect is observed only for particle groups, while single particles can penetrate the steel as deep as big their size is. Another wonderful discovery was made: while penetrating the plates, the particles generate streams of artificial "galactic ions", which
possess huge energy!
The research of the Belarusian and Russian physicists has a great future. It is clearly understood now that it is much simpler and less expensive to study space vehicle`s hull penetration by particles in land environment than in outer space.