Wispy-looking aerogel has been around since the 1930s, but the latest version has some new tricks.
Researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland are developing the new aerogel for space missions first, but it may find a place on Earth, too. "Primarily we've been developing these materials for NASA mission applications, such as spacesuits," lead scientist Mary Ann Meador said during a news conference.
In the future, the material could go into thinner housing insulation, roomier refrigerators and TV antennas that capture broader frequency ranges, she added. Like other aerogels, it is an excellent insulator and has unique electrical properties.