In a bid to prevent our soldiers from falling prey to the freezing temperatures of Siachen, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram has manufactured the world’s lightest material called silica aerogel or ‘blue air’.
Having utility both on Earth as well as in outer space, the material has an outstanding thermal resistance that can be used in soldier uniforms to help them stay warm. And it probably would have saved the life of the late Lance Naik Hanumanthappa and many others who lost their lives in Siachen.
Sometimes also known as ‘frozen smoke’, the material manufactured by ISRO’s research centre arm is so light that it can even be delicately placed on a flower head.
The indigenous creation can also hopefully be used in rocket engines for insulation. For our soldiers, the material can be used for insoles, thermal jackets, and even have purposes for window glazing.