Oct 8, 1996
Better Aerogel Made in Space - UPDATE
The Aerogel made aboard the flight of the Starfire Rocket in April has indicated that gravity effects in samples of the material made on the ground may be responsible for the adverse pore sizes and thus account for the lack of transparency. Both the diameter and volume of the pores in the space-made Aerogel appear to be between 4 and 5 times better than otherwise identically formulated ground samples. Because Aerogels are the only known transparent insulator, with typical heat conduction properties that are five times better than the next best alternative, a number of novel applications are foreseen in high performance Aerogels.
Contact Dr. David Noever
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville AL 35812
for more information about aerogels.