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Making Metallic Hydrogen

Hydrogen is the simplest atom, composed of a single proton in the center and a single electron around the edge. We think of it in a natural form as a gas, but at low temperatures (-423 F) it will liquefy. Once it’s in liquid form, adding a lot of pressure (5 million atm) can force […]

Superconductor Basics

When we push electrons through most conductors, there is resistance from other electrical fields that slows down the transmission of the electrical current and creates heat. In some materials, the electrons clump together in pairs (Cooper pairs) and move with reduced resistance. These materials are called superconductors and they are most effective at low temperatures […]

Living In Lava Tubes on the Moon

Still just a theory, the idea of huge lava tubes existing on the Moon has taken a big step toward becoming a reality. A team from Purdue University recently presented some work on models based on lava flow channels visible from the surface. The models suggest that lave tube caves on the Moon could be […]

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 […]