Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Building Materials For Interplanetary Stations

07.12.2004


A new technology developed by Russian scientists with support of the International Science & Technology Center allows to produce antennas and telescope mirrors, walls and partitions for a space station, solar panels and even houses on the Moon or the Mars. All the above can be produced quickly, strongly, reliably, with minimal consumption of time, place, energy and money.

These building materials or rather peculiar semi-manufactured articles for future constructions will be brought to space in compact waterproof containers. They will look like plain damp sack in a dense packet. One of them might carry an inscription “Dwelling unit partition # … ”. The second will likely contain a worktable. The third – the telescope mirror. There may be a lot of options, but the way they will look like is not essential. It is important that at the station the semimanufactured articles will be connected to a compressed gas can and inflated. And several hours later, the soft damp cloth would turn into hard solid material in the form of a table, partition or antenna.

Such pneumatic hardening constructions have been invented for use in space by the specialists of the Babakin Research-and-Development Center (Lavochkin Research-and-Production Association). The technology was developed with support of the International Science & Technology Center. The developers suggest that these lightweight and strong materials should be used for construction of partitions in the space stations (so far, orbital stations), and in the future – lunar and martian stations. They are certainly not intended for the shel or roof paneling, but for internal partitions, walls, bulk installations like solar panels, antenna or telescope mirror.



“One of the major construction problems in space is certainly delivery of materials and construction components, says Sergei Ivanov, project manager, chief specialist, Babakin Research-and-Development Center (Lavochkin Research-and-Production Association). Their weight and volume are a challenge.” That is obvious. Transportation of each kilogram of cargo from the Earth to the orbital station, let alone the Moon or other planet, involves tremendous energy and accordingly financial spending. Building the International Space Station has already required transporting into space hundreds of tons of cargo, and the station has been under construction for more than 5 years and it is not finished yet. The same applies to volume.

Bulk constructions as a whole will not find room on board the spaceship. That means that these constructions have to be conveyed piece-meal and then assembled in the orbit. Sometimes, this is extremely complicated, particularly for constructions that require special degree of assembly precision. First of all, that relates to parabolic dishes and telescope mirrors as their diameter is measured in dozens of meters, any distortion of their surface may cause mistakes, sometimes irreparable ones.

“As a matter of fact, our technology is simple, the developers say. We form the further article from a special lightweight and solid cloth on the Earth. We cut out, sew, paste. We put the article into required shape and thoroughly control it. We put inside something like a rubber bladder, similar to a football bladder. The material is impregnated with a special solution. A semimanufactured article of the future antenna or partition is ready. Now it has to be fold up, packed hermetically, delivered to the destination and inflated.”

The zest is that when drying up the solution hardens and transforms the impregnated material into a solid, tough and uninflammable “armour”. It should be noted that in space, i.e. in vacuum, water will fly away by itself, without any assistance. The compressed gas would perform double work – it would unfold the article and put it into shape. Therefore, there is no need for additional energy consumption to inflate the construction and to solidify its form.”

So far, such pneumatic solidificated constructions have not been in space. The researchers are optimizing impregnation composition, selecting the best materials for the basis, defining technology details. It is interesting to note that space vacuum conditions are being simulated simply by drying. However, it is clear now that new materials do not yield to traditional ones in durability, but at the same time these materials will be several times lighter. It is possible that the terrestrials will build the first house on the Moon or the Mars from these materials according to the technology developed in the Babakin Research-and-Development Center (Lavochkin Research-and-Production Association).

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected
21.02.2018 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Hidden talents: Converting heat into electricity with pencil and paper
20.02.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>