The NY Times explores the wonders of Aerogel

posted by Jason Kottke Jan 21, 2004

The NY Times explores the wonders of Aerogel.

Reader comments

Stefan JonesJan 21, 2004 at 12:10PM

Mmmm. Body armor.

Sean TevisJan 21, 2004 at 3:11PM

Take part in an aerogel mission (sort of). Send your name to a comet. It will be included with other names on a disc attached to the impactor spacecraft, which will collide with Tempel 1.

jkottkeJan 21, 2004 at 5:10PM

If you'd like some aerogel of your own to play with, you can buy it online. $110 for 10 grams.

donald tettoJan 21, 2004 at 9:35PM

You're going to have to go up to $200 though if you want a solid 2x2x.5" block, though. Where's the fun in scattered bits and pieces? God forbid you should sneeze.

dowingbaJan 22, 2004 at 3:15AM

I'd just like to mention that if some alien found a CD on a comet and eventually figured out how to interpret the data into whatever system of communication they use, a big list of names will be quite meaningless. In fact, with just a bunch of names and no other real information, they'd probably just throw the thing away, being very pissed off that they invested so much time into decoding our Binary system just to get a bunch of gibberish.

craigJan 22, 2004 at 11:44AM

So my question is this -- why can't they come up with some sort of aerogel to apply to a hole in the wing/hull of the space shuttle to protect it through the hottest part of reentry? It seems like it has most, if not all, the needed properties.

ernieJan 22, 2004 at 12:24PM

dowingba: Perhaps, but an alien facing the crunch of an abduction quota would like nothing more than to find a time-saving precompiled list of names to hunt down on his next Terra run. Its gotta be easier to get a psychically guided tractor beam lock on the beds of sleeping occupants already expecting some sort of contact, right?

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.