In this work, potential problems with the application of polymer matrix composites (PMC) in extreme environments  is discussed. Then, two specific examples of the applications of PMCs in high voltage [2-7] and high temperature [8-15] situations are evaluated. The first example deals with damage evolution in high voltage composite insulators [2-7] with PMC rods subjected to a combined action of extreme mechanical, electrical and environmental stresses. These insulators are widely used in transmission line and substation applications around the world. Subsequently, advanced high temperature graphite/polyimide composites [8-15] are evaluated for aerospace applications. The composite investigated in this project were used to manufacture and successfully test a Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) third-generation, reusable liquid propellant rocket engine, which is one possible engine for a future single-stage-to-orbit vehicle .