23 June 2013

Is space cold? Part 1

During Apollo 13 an explosion on the way to the moon damaged the service module, causing astronauts James Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise to abort what would have been the third landing on the moon.  They came back to earth with the CM LEM and damaged SM.  The SM and LEM were jettisoned shortly before re-entering earth's atmosphere in the CM*.

Is space cold? Part 2

part 1

In part one it was suggested that an object in the sun at distances of earth orbit, or less, will be hot.  What about the case for the shade in space, is it cold? 

Some say that when the Apollo astronauts moved from light to shadow on the surface of the moon, they went from a hot 107C or so to a cold -170C in a matter of seconds.

Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon during Apollo 11

11 June 2013

The porous plate sublimator

Surviving the harsh lunar environment is apparently one of mankind's greatest engineering achievements. 

The space suit worn by the Apollo astronauts on the surface of the moon had to protect them from UV, X, and gamma-rays, heat, and solar flare radiation from the sun; cosmic rays; micro meteors; regulate humidity, carbon dioxide and oxygen; and maintain a pressurised layer of air.

Amazing life-saving suit technology: the state of the art in 1969.  The Apollo 11 suit.