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Aerogel Insulation for the Thermal Protection of Venus Spacecraft

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
30 Forbes Road Building B Northborough, MA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Aerogel Insulation for the Thermal Protection of Venus Spacecraft
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNC07CA26C
Award Amount: $599,944.00


One of NASA's primary goals for the next decade is the design, development and launch of a spacecraft aimed at the in-situ exploration of the deep atmosphere and surface of Venus. The success of this mission, called VISE (Venus In-Situ Explorer), is reliant on the development of effective thermal insulation solutions capable of protecting spacecraft for extended periods of time from the extreme heat and pressure associated with the lower atmosphere of Venus. Materials intended for exterior application must also be inert towards the sulfuric, hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid present. Aspen Aerogels, Inc. proposes to continue its development of aerogel composites intended for thermal and chemical protection to a Venus spacecraft. During the Phase I program, we fabricated several aerogels with inherent thermal conductivities below 40 mW/m-K. In Phase II, we propose to optimize the synthesis through systematic changes in gelation, extraction, and pyrolysis conditions. Furthermore, we will demonstrate thermal conductivities of 100 mW/m-K at 500 C under 90 bars of CO2 pressure. Lastly, methods for fabricating aerogel composites into complex shapes will be investigated along with system level design including attachment to the Venus spacecraft.

Principal Investigator:

Owen F. Evans
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Heather M. Crouse
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
30 Forbes Road, Building B Northborough, MA 01532

EIN/Tax ID: 043559972
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No