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
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
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.
Adachi I, Sumiyoshi T, Hayashi K et al (1995) Study of a threshold Cherenkov counter based on silica aerogels with low refractive indices. Nucl Instrum Methods A 355:390–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burchell MJ, Graham G, Kearsley A (2006) Cosmic dust collection in aerogel. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 34:385–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kawaguchi Y, Sugino T, Tabata M et al (2014) Fluorescence imaging of microbe-containing particles shot from a two-stage Light-gas gun into an aerogel. Orig Life Evol Biosph 44:43–60PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Noguchi T, Nakamura T, Ushikubo T et al (2011) A chondrule-like object captured by space-exposed aerogel on the international space station. Earth Planet Sci Lett 309:198–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ogata Y, Yabuta H, Nakashima S et al (2013) Hypervelocity capture of Murchison meteorite particles in aerogel: ground-based experiment for the cosmic dusts capture at the International Space Station. In ISTS Web Paper Archives 2013-r-51pGoogle Scholar
Sumiyoshi T, Adachi I, Enomoto R et al (1998) Silica aerogels in high energy physics. J Non-Cryst Solids 225:369–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tabata M, Adachi I, Fukushima T et al (2005) Development of silica aerogel with any density. In Conf Rec on 2005 I.E. Nucl Sci Symp 2:816–818Google Scholar
Tabata M, Adachi I, Ishii Y et al (2010) Development of transparent silica aerogel over a wide range of densities. Nucl Instrum Methods A 623:339–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tabata M, Kawaguchi Y, Yokobori S et al (2011) Tanpopo cosmic dust collector: silica aerogel production and bacterial DNA contamination analysis. Biol Sci Space 25:7–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tabata M, Adachi I, Kawai H et al (2012) Hydrophobic silica aerogel production at KEK. Nucl Instrum Methods A 668:64–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tabata M, Imai E, Yano H et al (2014) Design of a silica-aerogel-based cosmic dust collector for the Tanpopo mission aboard the International Space Station. Trans JSASS Aerospace Tech Jpn 12:Pk_29–Pk_34CrossRefGoogle Scholar