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Back in Black: NASA Developing New Nano-Based Black Material

Engineers are creating a blacker-than pitch material to help gather scientific measurements and observe currently unseen objects in the universe.

The black nanomaterial is comprised of a thin coating of multi-walled CNTs. The nanomaterial is being developed by a group of technologists at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. The project leader is PI John Hagopian, who first developed black nanomaterial. The novel, ultra-black nanomaterial is about 10 times better than black paint currently being used by NASA to suppress light, and will be strong enough to withstand space conditions.

Principal Investigator John Hagopian with new new nanotech-based material that is 10 times more effective than black paint. The sample on the left is black paint typically used to suppress errant light in instruments; the sample on the right is the new nanotube material. Credit: Chris Gunn/NASA

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