Space Emergency Blanket is a genuine "NASA spin-off" product directly related to the external insulation products actually used on all space missions. This "like material" has been a vital component in protecting the astronauts (Pegasus, Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo and today's Space Shuttle) from solar radiation and protecting sensitive equipment from outer space's extreme temperature ranges. In earth's atmosphere this mylar Space Emergency Blanket has provided many millions of users worldwide comfort, warmth, security and safety of personal thermal reflectance against the cold or in the aftermath of a natural disaster or to prevent post-trauma shock. Space Blanket weighs 3 oz. and measures 56" x 86". (9A331) A ComputerGear exclusive. Item in stock unless noted above.
Space Emergency Blankets had their start in the space program in the 1970s. In 1973, the Skylab space station began overheating while in orbit. Because of a broken heat shield, the temperature inside the station approached temperatures of 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius). As temperatures continued to rise, NASA personnel worried about the decay of equipment and food inside the station. The possibility of toxic gases was also a threat. Engineers contacted a New Jersey company called National Metallizing to assist them in the creation of an emergency sunshield for Skylab. Up until this point, manufacturers used the metallizing process mostly for the toy industry and the making of tinsel for Christmas trees (remember those silver ones?). But NASA realized the potential of these shiny, thin metallic sheets to deflect heat. Working together, the two organizations created a reflective parasol that a space crew placed on top of Skylab. It worked, deflecting the heat and allowing the spacecraft to remain at a normal temperature.
As they work to keep heat out, space blankets also work to keep heat in. Because they could reflect the wearer's body heat back toward the wearer, these blankets had potential for a multitude of uses. They've become invaluable to marathon runners to help stay warm at the end of a race. Hospitals find them useful to keep patients warm during surgery, as anesthesia tends to make people shiver. Campers, climbers and mountaineers -- anyone who may find themselves stranded in cold weather -- discover space blankets are an extremely lightweight and cheap addition to their first-aid kits. Charitable organizations delivered NASA blankets to natural disaster victims. People used them as both ground cover and warming blankets.