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What’s This? #1 – The big reveal!

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • October 3, 2011
  • Comments Off on What’s This? #1 – The big reveal!

Last Friday, we posted the first in our new series, What’s This? We put up a mysterious photograph, and asked our readers to make their best guesses about the content of the picture. We had a lot of fantastic guesses, in the comments and on Twitter! Here’s the photo, once again:


So… what is it?

It’s rolls of the raw materials used to make thermal blankets for satellites and other equipment! These layers, which can include kapton film, dacron netting, and other materials, are like “clothes” for sensitive equipment. Blankets are uniquely designed for each application, with the number and order of layers selected to keep the temperature where it needs to be for optimal performance. Sometimes this means keeping heat out… sometimes it means keeping it in! Each custom-made blanket is sewn right here at Goddard, in a lab that we toured during our filming earlier this year for Fancy Fast Food. Here are a couple more pics from our visit:




So, who’s our winner? In a random drawing among the folks who guessed correctly that it was some sort of radiation shielding or blankets, we chose Hogan, who said, “Either that’s enough mylar to make 1,000 helium baloons or it’s radiation shielding for a spacecraft of some sort.” We’ll send out a prize pack – including a sample of thermal blanketing!

Thanks for playing – we’ll post another one soon!

Categories: What's This?

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