Leather in space16 July 2002
Tenerías Omega, Spain, customers of BASF, have become the first tannery in the world to manufacture leather that will be sent to the International Space Station. Tenerías Omega will provide all the upholstery for the 'Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System' (MARES). MARES is a facility that will be used to study the effects of zero gravity on the human body. It has been developed by the Spanish company Nuevas Tecnologías Espaciales for the European Space Agency. Seventy-seven components of MARES had to be upholstered with leather to cushion the body during scientific experiments. Tenerías Omega produced the leather with BASF leather chemicals both at the wet-end and in the finishing phases. The leather had to pass an infinite number of complex tests to prove its outstanding properties and to fulfil the very stringent requirements.