Reflective foil insulation has a long and interesting history that you may not know about. Perhaps its most colorful use is in the space program. During the space race of the 1950s, NASA scientists were confronted with the challenge of developing an insulating product that would protect astronauts from extreme temperature shifts, ranging from -273 degrees Celsius to +238 degrees Celsius. It was impossible to craft a useful space suit from conventional insulating materials because the suit would have to be several feet thick to work properly. The solution to this tricky problem was to employ reflective foil insulation within it to streamline it more and making it bearable to wear.
Reflective insulation used in space suits serve a double purpose. They reflect dangerous radiant energy from the outside of the suit, which would quickly cause an astronaut to overheat. Foil insulation also retains an astronaut's own radiant heat energy to help keep them warm in the cold environment. NASA also uses radiant barrier inside its space shuttles. This allows the crew to live and work within the space shuttle without having to wear heavy and cumbersome space suits. In fact, radiant barrier technology is used throughout the space program. These aluminum insulation products protect the shuttles themselves, as well as the mechanical and computerized components within them.
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