Blue Origin New Shepard rocket launches from first launch pad in west Texas north of Van Horn – Copyright AFP/File STR
The recent launch of Blue Origin NS-23 was the first test of a new thermal insulation material. This was developed in Portland, Oregon. OROS Laboratories. OROS is a new generation thermal materials company. thermal materials are used to improve thermal efficiency between two mating components.
OROS has developed an in-line process for producing polymer airgel and turning it into fiber. The fiber is then 3D printed into a film with a diameter of 750 microns. The resulting flexible film provides an effective CLO/diameter ratio.
Aerogels are among the lightest hard materials. These materials are created by combining a polymer with a solvent to form a gel, and then removing the liquid from the gel and replacing it with air. The resulting aerogels are porous and have a very low density, yet feel hard to the touch.
Airgel is a substance pioneered by NASA to insulate spacecraft and is touted as the lowest thermal conductivity material known to mankind. By developing new, flexible and durable airgel solutions, OROS produces revolutionary materials that open up a wide range of applications beyond spaceflight.
A flexible insulator was wrapped around the battery cells aboard the NS-23 in August 2022 with the goal of extending battery life while preserving human stem cells during the mission. Batteries used to keep human cells alive by maintaining an acceptable temperature aboard the Blue Origin NS-23.
As for the overall goal of the mission, the researchers are studying the effects of space on human cells to better understand the possibility of 3D printing human organs in zero gravity in LEO.
After the Blue Origin NS-23 rocket left the Earth’s atmosphere, it operated at a temperature no higher than -267 degrees Celsius. As part of the rocket’s payload, human cells are exposed to space and microgravity. To prevent the cells from freezing, batteries were used aboard the Blue Origin capsule to maintain an optimal thermal environment for these cells.
Basic research aboard Blue Origin NS-23 is the first step towards a better understanding of how humans can colonize the Moon, Mars and other planets. However, without the isolation of the OROS, the experiment would have been difficult to carry out.
“By reducing the need for energy, we can ultimately support long-term life in space,” OROS co-founder and CEO Michael Markesbury. quoted as speaking.