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Stardust Aerogel Samples
01.13.06
 
Thermal Protection Materials (TPS) Models Aerogel. A new concept for spacecraft tiles can be used on Earth to make efficient, vacuum-like insulation for refrigerators, furnaces and automobile catalytic converters. The new material is similar to that used for the tiles on the Space Shuttle to protect the vehicle from the heat generated during reentry into Earth's atmosphere. However, the new tiles have a layer of aerogel, or `solid smoke,' mixed into the tile's air spaces. "Solid smoke, or aerogel, works like a vacuum layer because it's a great insulator," said aerogel tile co-inventor Dr. Susan White of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. "The new aerogel tiles can insulate spacecraft from 10 to 100 times better than today's tiles." NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. "The new aerogel tiles can insulate spacecraft from 10 to 100 times better than today's tiles."

Aerogel Samples Aerogel Samples: P.I. Dr.Susan White, Ames Thermal Protection Branch 1993. Photo Credit: NASA Ames/NASA Photographer Tom Trower
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Aerogel Sample Thermal Protection Materials (TPS) Models Aerogel; P.I. Dr. Susan White. Photo Credit: NASA Photographer Maria Garcia 1997
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Aerogel Sample Aerogels showing light scattering with mask; P.I. Dr. Susan White, Ames Thermal Protection Branch. Photo Credit: NASA Ames/NASA photographer J.T. Heineck 1992
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Aerogel Sample and TPS Thermal Protection Materials (TPS) Models Aerogel, tile and aerogel
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Aerogel Sample close-up Aerogel samples
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For more information, please visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/research/exploringtheuniverse/stardust.html

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2006/06_01AR.html

http://reentry.arc.nasa.gov

http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov

To view a map of the stardust path, please visit:

http://reentry.arc.nasa.gov/viewingarea.jpg