Gold: A crucial material for the aerospace industry

Gold is a crucial material for the aerospace industry because of its distinctive combination of properties. Gold is one of the most electrically conductive metals and is also an excellent conductor of heat and thermal energy. Gold is very malleable and easy to shape into thin layers, and it is practically indestructible. Gold is wear and corrosion resistant and is virtually immune to the effects of air, water and oxygen. Gold is also highly reflective.

For these reasons, gold is used in a variety of forms in satellites. Gold plating is used to boost the conductivity of electrical components and prevent corrosion. Gold foil provides a layer of insulation for delicate components, and the exterior of satellites are often gold plated to shield the craft from radiation, high temperatures, corrosion and other environmental dangers. Gold plating is typically applied to solar panels, antennae, and other exposed sections of the satellite, shielding the craft from radiation and temperatures of up to 3,000°F, while also protecting its equipment from electromagnetic interference, debris and dust.

Above our heads, thousands of satellites are orbiting the earth, monitoring the weather, conducting scientific research, helping with navigation and providing the ability to connect with our loved ones around the globe. Satellites have been an invaluable tool to advance human knowledge and develop new technologies.

Equinox Gold, with eight gold mines in Canada, the USA, Mexico and Brazil, is proud to provide a component that plays an integral role in building and operating satellites.

June 23, 2024 SpaceX satellite launch as seen from Equinox Gold’s Mesquite Mine

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