How Do You Do That In Space?

Some of the simple things that we take for granted in a gravity filled world are really difficult in space.

Going to the bathroom, just for example.

But other vital obstacle will need to be overcome prior to long space flights.  Along the way the possibility that the crew may have to make some repairs to the craft are fairly high.

However, the crew may have to cobble together some parts to make things work.  That’s a little more difficult than replacing parts with other parts you carry onboard.  Like when Hubble’s solar panels were completely swapped out.

Astronaut James Voss uses a soldering iron onboard the International Space Station.

One of the task that will need to be master is basic soldering of components.  This is a lot more difficult than it sounds.  Usually when you solder something, the solder flows into the cracks and crevasses using surface tension of the liquid solder and gravity.  Problem is, of course, there is no gravity in space.


Image credit Tlapicka

So experiments are underway to figure out how to do this vital repair task safely and correctly in space.  Analysis and new procedures will follow once the data, the solder joints and the environment are all reviewed.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +


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