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Prototype Aerogel Insulation for Melamine-Foam Substitute: Critical Space Station Express Rack TechnologyThere is a current lack of environmentally acceptable foams to insulate Long-Duration Human Spaceflight Missions, including the experimental Express Rack for the Space Station. A recent 60-day manned test in a sealed chamber at Johnson Space Center (JSC) was nearly aborted, because of persistently high formaldehyde concentrations in the chamber. Subsequent investigation showed that the source was melamine foam (used extensively for acoustic insulation). The thermal and acoustic potential for melamine-foam substitutes is evaluated for scale-up to a silica-based foam and aerogel, which is environmentally benign for long duration space flight. These features will be discussed in reference to an aerogel prototype to: 1) assemble material strength data for various formulated aerogels, both silica and organic carbon aerogels; 2) assemble the aerogel into panels of mylar/vacuum-encapsulated rigid boards which can be molded in various shapes and rigidities; and 3) describe a process for space applications for formaldehyde-free, long duration thermal and acoustic insulators.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Noever, David A.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Sibille, Laurent
(Universities Space Research Association Huntsville, AL United States)
Smith, David
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Cronise, Raymond
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
April 30, 1998
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Meeting Information
Meeting: Space Congress 1998
Location: Cocoa Beach, FL
Country: United States
Start Date: April 30, 1998
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