Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Space Blanket

I've been doing some research for school on commercialized spinoffs that are a result of NASA technology. There are so many useful and life-saving spinoffs used by all of us today which effect our everyday lives! I came across one technology that I have used before, and was not even aware that it was a NASA spinoff! In January I ran my first half-marathon and just after the finish line they provided us with a "Space Blanket"). I knew the intent of the "space blanket" when I received mine, but I 1.) did not know it was referred to as a "Space Blanket" and 2.) did not know it derived from NASA technology. (photo)

The material is made of a strong, plastic, vacuum-metallized film with an efficient, infrared-reflective coating of aluminum applied as a vapor. The thin silver insulation has been used on manned and unmanned missions, such as the Hubble Space Telescope and has served as part of many more applications as well. Since the mid-70's, these space blankets have been distributed to runners to ensure minimum heat loss in their bodies and prevent hypothermia.

As I came across this doing my research, it was a coincident that in the news, Astronaut Suni Williams, will be running next month's Boston Marathon! The only difference is that she will be on a treadmill in space instead of in Boston. (Here's the news release on Suni!)


Anonymous said...

Suni's story is quite intriguing. I like that her sister will be actually running in the marathon, while Suni herself will be running concurrently in space.

I love it.

mark_smith said...

Great story Damaris hope you have a good Easter weekend.