One of the fun things about being in a revolutionary materials development area is the opportunity to see and explore applications where these materials can be used. One of these applications is Space Mirrors. In fact, our X-MAT technology has been chosen in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 NASA SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research Grant) programs regarding space mirrors. Advantages of X-MAT include low cost, quick turn manufacturing cycles, extreme thermal stability, and lightweight characteristics.
At a recent NASA Tech Mirror Days at NASA Langley in Maryland, we were blessed to be able to see the primary mirror assembly. These NASA space telescope programs can take 10-20 years to move from concept to deployment. The James Webb Space Telescope uses an infrared mirror technology to detect and measure signals which will give us information regarding the origins of the universe as well as other astronomical features such as stars and solar systems. The James Webb Space Telescope uses ultra-lightweight beryllium as the primary mirror material. Perhaps, in the future, lower cost, higher performance X-MAT materials could be used to make space mirrors in future NASA Space Telescope Systems.