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Kathy's Spacesuit Diary Day 1 2 3

Day One

Now this seems like an intrinsically funny challenge to me. What a completely barking thing to be trying to do - keep someone cool in Death Valley on their "Mars Mission".

Barking? Yes. Easy? No. In the series on Cariacou, we completely failed to make ice, so the stakes are up for making a cooling system.

We're all quite hopeful - zeolite is amazing. The image I have is that it just sucks up moisture like mad, so using it and a partial vacuum together could help us enormously (it should help get a lower pressure by sucking the moisture out of the air).

But different zeolites will have different abilities to 'suck up' water. And even if Ian finds some, it may not be very pure - so it's great Mike is getting some from detergent too.

I spend a while thinking about the design for the 'fridge' and talking to the others. It would be easier to have one compartment with water in to cool, and zeolite suspended above it to extract evaporated water. But the zeolite gets hot, and having something hot in the same volume as the water we're trying to cool just can't be a good idea.

But the separate container I decide to make for the zeolite needs a load of holes to make the connections to the main container, and none of the drill bits are a good size for any of the decent tubing I have. It's such a small issue, but such a pain in the neck, as holes that are much too big will be hard to seal. Anything that isn't sealed will trash the vacuum we're trying to get.

A lot is frustrating here!



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: