Aerogel / Stardust question

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peasantmagic
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Aerogel / Stardust question

Post by peasantmagic »

Since aerogel is brittle I was wondering how NASA was able to get so much of it to survive the flight conditions undamaged. Anyone know anything about this?

fjgiie
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Re: Aerogel / Stardust question

Post by fjgiie »

peasantmagic wrote:Since aerogel is brittle I was wondering how NASA was able to get so much of it to survive the flight conditions undamaged. Anyone know anything about this?
This will get you started:
Making the collector using 6061T6 Aluminum

Large picture of Aerogel in collector.

Clamshell around the collector

http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/tech/aerogel.html

Picture Gallery http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/photo/index.html

peasantmagic
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Re: Aerogel / Stardust question

Post by peasantmagic »

Thanks for the help! :) I guess I should have been more specific in my question. Was the tennis racket array mounted on any vibration suppression system? I would think that the force of the rocket would cause enough stress on the aerogel array to cause some of the blocks to break, but maybe this is an incorrect assumption.

DanZ
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Re: Aerogel / Stardust question

Post by DanZ »

You would think! I've played with the stuff and it breaks with the slightest touch. Survival in capsule had something to do with it being packed so super snug I think, but let me see if one of the scientists has a much better answer for you.

Dan

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Re: Aerogel / Stardust question

Post by DanZ »

The official response:

No vibration suppression. Like all parts of the spacecraft, the tray (and flight spare) were vibration-tested before launch. Still, it was a concern, and it was a surprise to some that not even one tile had fallen out during launch or recovery.

So I suppose they were packed very snug indeed!

Dan

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