Powering Manufacturing – Space & Technology

A unique blend of polyester, nylon and elastane – all derived from petroleum – can relay, in real time, the wearer’s vital signs gathered from sensors embedded in the fabric.

Natural gas-fired furnaces that can reach 2820 degrees Fahrenheit are used to manufacture the optical glass lenses, mirrors and prisms in powerful telescopes that let scientists see the far reaches of our solar system and beyond.


Kevlar, urethane-coated nylon, spandex and pressure-restraining Dacron – synthetic fabrics all made from refined petroleum – go into the 14 layers of materials in an astronaut’s space suit.

The manufacture of cutting-edge solar cells involves development of copolymer resins – derived from petroleum – that protect between the electronics and glass in photovoltaic cells.


RP-1 fuel, derived from kerosene, boosted Saturn V rockets that took Americans to the moon. It still boosts rockets including the Falcon 9 that take satellites into orbit. About 95 percent of liquid hydrogen used for propellant is made with the help of natural gas.