By Sanjukata Biswas
Indian Space Research Organisation, one of the prime places where discoveries are made, has discovered the lightest material on planet Earth; it is named as Blue Air (silica aerogel).
Dr K Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Center told NDTV, “It is the world’s lightest synthetic material made by man. It is a highly guarded technology. We have indigenously made it in India. It is used for insulating the rocket’s surface.” It is a proud moment for every Indian and scientist fraternity.
The Blue Air/ Silica Aerogel/ Frozen smoke, is lighters than air and has 99% air in it. The density is 1000 gram per cubic meter and has supreme thermal insulation properties. The thermal insulation properties has help soldiers posted at Siachen glaciers as clothes made from these silica aerogel can keep the cold away and body warm.
The researcher team hopes to use this ‘silica aerogel’ for insulating the tanks that hold the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen in the cryogenic engines. Since it is lightweight, it could also be used in designing the space suits that future Indian astronauts may be wearing. The small buggy that will be part of the Chandrayaan-2 and will run around the lunar surface in 2018 could also see the use of the ‘silica aerogel’ as an insulator.
Further it can be used in window planes, which will allow light to pass through them but with restrict the exchange of heat from inside or outside. This will reduce the load of air conditioners and thus, it will help in combating global warming.