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Skin Suit Requirements

A Skin Suit concept was previously described here as a combination of a super-skin layer of clothing, a space suit, and an exoskeleton. In order to bring this closer to a functional reality, we need to define requirements. We can start by defining the layers that are involved: Skin components – a layer of protective […]

Biospheres in Space

When we begin to migrate out into space, we will need to create self-sustaining “biospheres” to live in. Technically, the International Space Station is a biosphere, but we re-supply it from outside constantly instead of replenishing materials from within. Our first outposts beyond Earth orbit will be similarly dependent upon regular supplies brought in from […]

The Moon as a Fuel Depot

There are good reasons to mine the Moon. Ice will supply water and oxygen for life, and hydrogen and oxygen for fuel. Aluminum and other metals can be extracted and formed into basic building block materials for construction. But both the ice and the building materials will be mostly thrown out into space for use […]

Growing Food in Space

Once we establish living habitats in space, it will not be practical to lift food out of the gravity well on Earth for consumption in space. Rather, food will be grown where it is consumed, using advanced agricultural techniques and robot attendants. Gravity will be supplied by rotation of the habitat. Water used in agriculture […]

Artificial Leaf

A leaf is a biological mechanism designed to use the energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and sugar, providing the plant with energy in a form it can use. This chemical process is called photosynthesis. Researchers are working on artificial leaves that can use the energy from sunlight to split […]

1667 – phlogiston theory

Phlogiston theory was a failure and eventually shown to be false. It was based on the idea that any combustible substance contained an element known as phlogiston that was released during the burning process. This had historical roots in various theories of alchemy which generally included four elements: fire, water, air and earth. The first […]

Respirocyte

Respirocytes are hypothetical, artificial red blood cells, capable of carrying extra oxygen and releasing it into the body and absorbing carbon dioxide and transporting it out. This could make it possible to hold your breath for several hours or to survive life-threatening events such as heart attacks by increasing the minimum response time needed before […]

Water on the Moon and Mars

It has long been known that water exists in comets, asteroids, on Mars and on the Moon, but the key question has always been, “how much is there?” Shadows in craters at the Moon’s poles have been suspected to hold some ice, but there was little hope of finding enough moisture across the rest of […]

Mining Asteroids

Instead of trying to send supply ships up the gravitational well from Earth to supply colonies in space, it is more sensible to find the supplies out in flat space. It is possible to extract precious metals and valuable minerals and elements from asteroids in the asteroid belt. How it will be done is open […]

Life Support

Life support systems in space involve a range of areas and considerations. Short term issues: Hull protection – compression, extreme temperature control, and extreme radiation protection are usually provided by some kind of hull in either a spacecraft or a larger living habitat structure Short term breathable oxygen supply – a tank of air and […]