Silica aerogels are materials with uncommon and useful characteristics. They are a highly porous material comprised of 90-99% air per unit volume and exhibit low densities, large surface areas, and very low thermal conductivity. Here at Union College, aerogels are fabricated utilizing our patented Rapid Supercritical Extraction (RSCE) method that uses a confined metal mold and a hydraulic hot press. The RSCE method can be adjusted to produce aerogels with desired specifications for a variety of applications. One such application for RSCE aerogels, is the use of their optical quality, strength, and low density for X-ray telescope lenses that could one day orbit the earth. In conjunction with Mr. David Broadway from the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, we are fabricating aerogels with flat and concave surfaces, and high optical qualities. These aerogels will be coated at NASA and tested for flatness. Another application of aerogels uses their low thermal conductivity, acoustic dampening characteristics and optical quality in windows. Through a partnership with Prof Cinzia Buratti at the University of Perugia in Italy, monolithic aerogels made using RSCE at Union will be aged in a rapid aging facility in Italy. Porosity, hydrophobicity, optical quality, thermal conductivity, acoustic dampening and density before and after aging will be compared to determine the longevity of their characteristics.