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Cooling technologies developed by ESA for space were improving Henri Pescarolo’s car in ‘2003 Dakar Rally’, commonly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally. A special thermal screen using technology developed for the European launch vehicle Ariane provided highly advanced protection and thermal insulation. Thanks to the thermal screen, the racing team enjoyed a significant safety boost with the decreased risk of fire in case of oil or gasoline leaks. The Italian company Grado Zero Espace provided a cooling system for the drivers’ helmets. It uses solid-state Peltier elements to ‘pump’ the heat out from the inner side of the helmet and a circulating fluid system to transport the heat away to a special heat ‘sink’, where the heat is absorbed.
In addition, the drivers also enjoyed drinks served in a completely new type of self-cooling container that may revolutionize the world of beverages over the coming years. Advanced numerical simulation techniques developed for ESA for satellite mission calculations made it possible for French company ThermaGen to calculate precisely the behaviour of the complex physical phenomena that creates the cooling effect and to design the self-cooling container.