Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Rough Science Photo of the Rough Science cast
 Home | Death Valley | Scientists | Kathy | Spacesuit Diary - Day 2
Introduction
 
Series 4:
Death Valley
Rover
Communication
Spacesuit
Impact
Aerial Surveyor
Rocket
 
 
The Scientists
Director's Notes
Producer's Notes
Tune In
 
Series 1:
Mediterranean
Series 2:
Carriacou
Series 3:
New Zealand
 
About the Show
Discover More
Feedback
Site Map
 
spacer spacer spacer
Kathy's Spacesuit Diary Day 1 2 3

Day Two

Yesterday evening we all tried to pump the fridge down. Hard work. It all seemed to be working well - the pump pumped, the pressure got lower and lower, the containers all withstood the low pressures - but the blasted water temperature didn't go down very impressively. 2 degrees Celsius, maybe? That's hardly going to cool Ellen in Death Valley, and we'll all have died of heat exhaustion. Really disappointing.

We seemed to reach a pressure that we just couldn't get lower than. Jonathan's PhD required a lot of playing around with vacuums, so he has loads of experience with them, thankfully. He says we just need to be really careful about potential leaks, that seals can work really well until you hit a particular pressure, when they would start to leak, which means you just can't get to a lower pressure.

I spend the day trying to make improvements. Everyone is helping everyone else, and we're all beginning to discuss other ways of trying to reduce the temperature. For instance, chemical reactions that cause a big temperature drop. Various reactions are used to make mixtures that can freeze water (they've been used to make ice cream), so Mike B is starting to think about of trying something else ... we need all the help we can get!

< Previous

 

The team prepare to test the suit
Scientists Diaries

How did the rest of the Rough Scientists approach the spacesuit task? Find out in their diaries:

Ellen
Iain
Jonathan
Mike