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    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/cm(3) 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.


    Makoto Tabata, Hajime Yano, Hideyuki Kawai, Eiichi Imai, Yuko Kawaguchi, Hirofumi Hashimoto, Akihiko Yamagishi. Silica aerogel for capturing intact interplanetary dust particles for the Tanpopo experiment. Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere : the journal of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. 2015 Jun;45(1-2):225-9

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    PMID: 25794831

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