NORTHBOROUGH, Mass., April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Space Foundation has inducted low-density, light-weight flexible aerogel insulating material into its Space Technology Hall of Fame®. The foundation also inducted Dr. George L. Gould, Aspen Aerogels' vice president of research and development, into the Hall of Fame for his role in developing and adapting aerogels for commercial use.
The Space Foundation established the Space Technology Hall of Fame (www.spacetechhalloffame.org) in 1988 to increase public awareness of the benefits that result from space exploration programs and to encourage further innovation. It honors technologies that were originally developed for space applications and have now been modified for products and services used on Earth.
Flexible aerogels were originally developed to serve as a barrier to the extreme temperatures that occur during rocket launches and that affect spacecraft as they are exposed to both high heat and severe cold. Because the initial silica aerogels were fragile and expensive, NASA contracted with the Cryogenics Test Laboratory at Kennedy Space Center and Aspen Systems, Inc. to produce affordable and easy-to-use aerogel composite blankets for space applications.
Aspen Aerogels, a spin-off from Aspen Systems, Inc., continued its development of the product to produce three variations - Cryogel, Pyrogel and Spaceloft - that are now used in industrial, construction, refrigeration, automotive and other commercial applications. The leading provider of aerogel blankets in the United States, Aspen Aerogels produces its blankets for extreme environments on Earth and in space.
The Hall of Fame also honored Aspen Systems, Inc., and Dr. Kang P. Lee, president & chief executive officer of Aspen Systems, for their roles in developing aerogels.
"These inductees are extraordinary examples of how space research and development can, eventually, make our lives on Earth safer, more comfortable and more environmentally sustainable," said Space Foundation Director - Space Awareness Kevin Cook.
About Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
Aspen Aerogels (www.aerogel.com) supplies reinforced, flexible aerogel insulation products that provide up to five times the thermal performance of widely-used traditional insulation materials. Aspen's aerogel insulation delivers thermal and other benefits that enable customers to conserve energy and to save money. Aspen's products are used in many industries including oil and gas production and processing, LNG transportation and storage, building and construction, outdoor apparel, appliances, transportation, military and aerospace. Headquartered in Northborough, Mass., Aspen manufactures its Cryogel, Pyrogel and Spaceloft products at its East Providence, R.I., facility.
SOURCE Aspen Aerogels