The world of aerospace increasingly relies on carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites to build the structures of satellites, rockets, and jet aircraft. But the life of those materials is limited by how they handle heat.
Engineers developed a heat shield that better protects those extremely fast machines. The team used carbon nanotubes to build the heat shields. Sheets of those nanotubes (buckypaper) were soaked in a resin made of a compound called phenol to create the lightweight, flexible material.