In this paper, we report the progress in developing a silica-aerogel-based cosmic dust capture panel for use in the Tanpopo experiment on the International Space Station (ISS). Previous studies revealed that ultralow-density silica aerogel tiles, comprising two layers with densities of 0.01 and 0.03 g/cm3 developed using our production technique, were suitable for achieving the scientific objectives of the astrobiological mission. A special density configuration (i.e., box framing) aerogel with a holder was designed to construct the capture panels. Qualification tests for an engineering model of the capture panel as an instrument aboard the ISS were successful. Sixty box-framing aerogel tiles were manufactured in a contamination-controlled environment.
Silica aerogel Cosmic dust International Space Station Astrobiology Tanpopo
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The authors are grateful to the members of the Tanpopo Collaboration for their assistance. This study was supported by the Space Plasma Laboratory at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), JAXA.
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