ignore poll please ... couldn't find the post button.

What a n00b!
0 (0%)
What an utter n00b!
1 (100%)

Total Members Voted: 1

terry_freeman on August 02, 2010, 12:45:17 pm
In the book Kings of the High Frontier, the author (or the characters therein) made the claim that space suits do not need fancy expansion joints and whatnot; that a sort of rubberized lycra suit topped by a helmet would do the job with far less complexity and expense.

SandySandfort on August 02, 2010, 03:34:29 pm
In the book Kings of the High Frontier, the author (or the characters therein) made the claim that space suits do not need fancy expansion joints and whatnot; that a sort of rubberized lycra suit topped by a helmet would do the job with far less complexity and expense.

See Drexler's Engines of Creation, for a full description:

http://www.nano.ir/nano_world/famous_people_desc/publication/ENGINS%20OF%20CREATION.pdf

wdg3rd on August 02, 2010, 11:03:00 pm
In the book Kings of the High Frontier, the author (or the characters therein) made the claim that space suits do not need fancy expansion joints and whatnot; that a sort of rubberized lycra suit topped by a helmet would do the job with far less complexity and expense.

Vic has never tested such suits in vacuum.  Nobody else has either.  NASA stands in the way.  (A major point in the novel).  I _think_ the suits Vic describes would work, but I don't own a test lab for that.  Hell, I don't even have enough of a lab to test the chances of winning in Three-Card Monte (though I suspect they're slim unless you're the dealer, just like testing space technology sucks if you're not butt-buddy to NASA).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

quadibloc on August 02, 2010, 11:16:59 pm
that a sort of rubberized lycra suit topped by a helmet would do the job with far less complexity and expense.
I remember that was the sort of space suit that women were often depicted as wearing on science-fiction magazine covers, and at the time it was claimed that this was clearly and obviously unrealistic.

In fact, though, it indeed makes sense that a skin-tight suit wouldn't need expansion joints. It would just have to be strong enough to exert pressure on the astronaut's body sufficient to match the pressure differential.

In that case, I think I know what the problem is. It is entirely possible, at least with a pure oxygen atmosphere at something like 2.5 psi, to make a space suit of that type which would work.

It's putting it on and taking it off that would approach impossibility.

If suitable zippers could be put on the suit in sufficient quantity without compromising its airtight seal, though, taking it off would become trivial.

Ah. Add belts to the suit. Belts that are tightened with turnbuckles, in order to achieve the necessary level of tension in the suit fabric for it to apply the needed pressure - thereby achieving the design shape of the suit, at which point the zippers could be closed.

J Thomas on August 03, 2010, 01:02:02 am

In fact, though, it indeed makes sense that a skin-tight suit wouldn't need expansion joints. It would just have to be strong enough to exert pressure on the astronaut's body sufficient to match the pressure differential.

It has to stretch at the joints, just like a fetish latex suit does. That means it takes extra muscle to move it out of the default position. The default might as well be halfway through the range of motion.

Quote
In that case, I think I know what the problem is. It is entirely possible, at least with a pure oxygen atmosphere at something like 2.5 psi, to make a space suit of that type which would work.

It's putting it on and taking it off that would approach impossibility.

You want it to be skintight, don't you? Spray it on, and then cut it off. Of course, it isn't ideal to have it release fumes while it dries that have to be removed from the air. Maybe find something that self-cures like epoxy?

Well, but it doesn't recycle, so you have to keep getting new space-suit tanks from terra. Maybe find a way to extract it from a plant, and have the suit material be biodegradable? Then you can keep growing new suits without needing importado.

quadibloc on August 03, 2010, 04:28:25 am
You want it to be skintight, don't you? Spray it on, and then cut it off.
The big issue is that the whole suit has to be tight - that is, when you are wearing it, the suit is stretched, so that it is exerting a pressure on your body.

If the compound that you spray on is formulated just right, I suppose it could shrink as it dries, so that it is forced to stretch.

dough560 on August 08, 2010, 10:37:46 pm
Why not apply nano-tech to the suit material and seals?  The suit could be self adjusting.

SandySandfort on August 09, 2010, 08:37:12 am
Why not apply nano-tech to the suit material and seals?  The suit could be self adjusting.

There you go. Drexler imagined just that in Engines of Creation. Here's that URL again:

http://www.nano.ir/nano_world/famous_people_desc/publication/ENGINS%20OF%20CREATION.pdf

wdg3rd on August 12, 2010, 12:42:48 am
Why not apply nano-tech to the suit material and seals?  The suit could be self adjusting.

There you go. Drexler imagined just that in Engines of Creation. Here's that URL again:

http://www.nano.ir/nano_world/famous_people_desc/publication/ENGINS%20OF%20CREATION.pdf

Some of these kids think us old guys never read what they (if they've read enough) think are the classics.

They also don't seem to realize that some of us know the authors of those "classics".  All of us being old guys and stuff.  (Eric is a month older than I am).

What, kids, you think Eric Drexler is hanging around at middle schools?  Aside from the local ignorance level, he'd get arrested and the last time I checked, he's not into children, aside from the chance of teaching them minor stuff like math, chemistry and physics.  The same  shit I'd like you little bastards to learn.  Or at least you young fucks should read some actual hard science fiction rather than fairy fantasy.
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

terry_freeman on August 12, 2010, 04:06:02 am
One of my beefs is that it is terribly difficult to find "hard" SF. It's all thud and blunder nowadays.

robryk on August 12, 2010, 04:52:37 am
It isn't as hard as one could think. Books by Hal Clement appear in many libraries (unfortunately, some of his short stories were published only in a magazine).

Brugle on August 12, 2010, 07:47:24 am
It isn't as hard as one could think. Books by Hal Clement appear in many libraries (unfortunately, some of his short stories were published only in a magazine).
Unless some unknown work is discovered and published posthumously, there won't be any more Clement stories.  I enjoy rereading, but reading decent hard SF for the first time is much better.

wdg3rd on August 13, 2010, 12:45:17 am
It isn't as hard as one could think. Books by Hal Clement appear in many libraries (unfortunately, some of his short stories were published only in a magazine).
Unless some unknown work is discovered and published posthumously, there won't be any more Clement stories.  I enjoy rereading, but reading decent hard SF for the first time is much better.


Chances are you missed some of his shorter works published in the magazines (I know I did) and never anthologized.   And it'll take me longer than the lifespan any actuary grants me (I'm 55 and nobody with my Y-chromosome has had a 56th birthday in recorded history) to go through the the collection of my first wife's late husband, but I'll keep trying).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

J Thomas on August 13, 2010, 02:33:08 am
It isn't as hard as one could think. Books by Hal Clement appear in many libraries (unfortunately, some of his short stories were published only in a magazine).

Sure, but it's hard to find new hard science fiction. Most younger readers don't know much science and don't care. Hard to blame them when the science itself is so hard to understand. And now there's a big market for so-called science fiction among older readers who don't care about the science.

Hard science fiction readers are an aging demographic that's a smaller slice of the market every year.

Similarly, it gets harder to find good poetry and harder to make a living as a poet.

Bob G on August 16, 2010, 10:18:04 pm
If suitable zippers could be put on the suit in sufficient quantity without compromising its airtight seal, though, taking it off would become trivial.

Ah. Add belts to the suit. Belts that are tightened with turnbuckles, in order to achieve the necessary level of tension in the suit fabric for it to apply the needed pressure - thereby achieving the design shape of the suit, at which point the zippers could be closed.

While I was working on Kwajalein as an ALSE (Aviation Life Support Equipment) tech., one of the ballistic missile tests shot at us used an RB-57 as a sensor platform. The crew of said aircraft had to wear, in effect, space suits because of the altitude at which they flew. Since their support team used my shop to do their maintenance, I got 'checked out' on doing a spacesuit pre-flight inspection. (Suits were made by David Clark, BTW.) The suits were sized using laces and sealed with zippers.

Dealing with the LOX was a bit of a pain in the rear.
Whatsoever, for any cause, seeketh to take or give
  Power above or beyond the Laws, suffer it not to live.
Holy State, or Holy King, or Holy People's Will.
  Have no truck with the senseless thing, order the guns and kill.

The penultimate stanza of Rudyard Kipling's MacDonough's Song