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What’s This? #1 – September 30, 2011

Introducing another new Blueshift series: What’s This? We’ll post a mysterious photo… and invite you to guess what it could be! Post your guesses as comments to this post, or tweet them to us with the #whatsthis hashtag.

So without further ado – what’s this?


We’ll give you one hint – this photo was taken in one of the most unusual labs here at NASA Goddard.

Give us your best guesses in comments and tweets! We’ll reveal the answer on Monday, October 3rd. We’ll randomly draw one name from among the correct responses, and send that person a little prize. If there are no correct responses, we’ll draw from all guesses.

Please note: Comments on NASA Blueshift are moderated, and we’ll approve them as quickly as we can during business hours, Monday-Friday. Don’t worry, any weekend comments will be approved when we look in the queue on Monday.

Categories: What's This?


  • Hogan says:

    Either that’s enough mylar to make 1,000 helium baloons or it’s radiation shielding for a spacecraft of some sort.

  • Tessa says:

    It looks like they are making a multi-layered textile.
    Spacesuits have more layers than that, usually; so perhaps some other application.

  • Kevin Michael Lesniewski says:

    Hmmm. The most unusual lab….I’m guessing the astrobiology lab…but I haven’t a clue what the lab is called what the name of this object is!

  • john vivek says:

    I think ds is a aluminium foil…

  • Jordan Waters says:

    I honestly have no clue, but looking at some of the materials it looks like parts to a satellite(s)?
    Foil, tubing, and what seems to be some type of cloth and computer components?

  • Ronnie says:

    I’m sure I’m wrong but I’ll say Mars Science Lab. :)

  • lvl 86 says:

    Okay, judging from the reflective material of the tube, I would say that is some sort of isolation housing something that needs to be isolated. Probably aluminum foil on the outside? Maybe some kind of vacuum lab and the relevant tube?

  • Michael Brown says:

    Thermal blanket fabrication?

  • Cris says:

    Hi there :),

    something for a satellite? To capture radiation?


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