Furthermore, the employment of nanomaterials such as CNTs or buckytubes
in launch and spacecraft materials have the potential to dramatically reduce the total weight and cost by factors of up to 100,000.
This advance follows in rapid succession Iijima's discovery of buckytubes
in 1991 (SN: 11/16/91, p.
Colbert of Rice University in Houston and his coworkers have now found, amid the tangled mass of buckytubes
and ropes typically produced from carbon vapor, doughnut-shaped rings of carbon atoms.
The ability to make this most basic of buckytubes
will help chemists better understand the material's mechanical and electronic properties.