Made in Space  Polystyrene Beads (Spheres)
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Polystyrene Beads in solution manufactured aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger
Made in Space
Polystyrene Beads in Solution

    Polystyrene Beads in solution manufactured aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger during NASA mission STS-6, April 1983. These microscopic beads are so small that 18,000 could fit on the head of a pin. They are used for the calibration of particle size measuring instruments including optical and electron microscopes.

    The technology necessary to produce these beads was developed by Lehigh University and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during five shuttle missions in 1982 and 1983.

    The standard reference material is a suspension of polystyrene spheres in water at a weight concentration of about 0.4%. The size distribution of the Polystyrene Spheres, as determined by CDF, is a narrow Gaussian with a standard deviation of 0.09%.

    The technical direction and physical measurements leading to certification were provided by Mechanical Production Meteorology Division and the Automated Production Technology Division.

    Manufacture of the particles were carried out under the direction of Lehigh University and NASA.

 It came with a Certificate of  Authenticity from the National Bureau of Standards.

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