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(RedOrbit)   Having trouble soldering in microgravity? NASA may have a solution   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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8339 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Nov 2003 at 4:47 PM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

44 Comments     (+0 »)
2003-11-10 04:44:21 PM  
And it involves my money!
2003-11-10 04:50:29 PM  
I had that problem once when I fixed a guitar on acid.
2003-11-10 04:51:51 PM  
You just made fun of the soldering iron of justice.
2003-11-10 04:52:22 PM  
I hate you.
2003-11-10 04:53:50 PM  
When we finally send people into outer space, it is comforting to know that at least the stained glass hobbyists will still have something to do.
2003-11-10 04:54:19 PM  

the article states that they allready have a soldering iron in space and now they're just getting around to seeing if it'll work?!?!?

Way to go on that safety front!

bad at soldering here on terra firma
2003-11-10 04:55:40 PM  
molten lead in your eye isn't as bad as you think. The Leidenfrost effect will save you.
2003-11-10 04:56:58 PM  
NASA can figure out how to solder in outer space, but can't stop our space shuttles from looking like roman candles ? Honestly, I just want to see any nation make it back to the moon before I die. Or else I'll have to believe my Vice City game, that it was all filmed next to a porn soundstage.
2003-11-10 04:57:21 PM  
The root of the problem has been exposed, my friend, and it's gas bubbles - tiny gas bubbles.

All they need is an anti-widget!
2003-11-10 04:57:34 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2003-11-10 04:59:45 PM  
I hate that penguin
2003-11-10 04:59:47 PM  
This is nice to know. Now I can open a mod chip install busness in space where the likes of MS and Sony cannot sue me.
2003-11-10 05:01:44 PM  
I think they'll use magnetism. (copyright aqquired 5 minutes ago)
2003-11-10 05:05:09 PM  
Cue Styx "Too Much Time On My Hands".
2003-11-10 05:05:56 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
Mmmmmmmm, solder.

mrfreewill, you copyrighted magnetism? I've got patent pending on that!
2003-11-10 05:06:03 PM  
I have a nasty 30-year-old scar on my arm from trying to solder something overhead. I can just imagine free-floating blobs of molten lead/silver/tin.
2003-11-10 05:09:03 PM  
What it sounds like to me is that since the astronauts are stuck up there they are trying to find busywork for them. "Ok, guys, solder a bunch of these here wires. Now, move all the water jugs from compartment a to compartment f. Now, move them back. Try not to get bored."

That's government for ya.
2003-11-10 05:10:46 PM  
I learned something important as a young nerd. Never solder in shorts and socks. I dropped a hot ball of solder onto my sock once, and it hurt so bad I dropped the iron on my leg. Neither one of those things felt very good.
2003-11-10 05:16:43 PM  
ohh the posibilities:)

[image from too old to be available]

2003-11-10 05:22:07 PM  
Next week: how to tell which way the batteries go in when there's no "up" in space.

And in January: does Cap'n Crunch stay crunchy even in ZERO-GEE milk?

Tune in on NASA Select!
2003-11-10 05:23:19 PM  
One word: Velcro
2003-11-10 05:25:07 PM  
2003-11-10 04:51:51 PM LawTalkingGuy

You just made fun of the soldering iron of justice.

HA! But it's ok, cause you could probably hit them up for a free drink now.

deep thoughts
2003-11-10 05:26:16 PM  
About time NASA got around to this. I've had some 0G soldering to do, and I've had to keep putting it off.
2003-11-10 05:27:51 PM  
This is the same kind of nonsense as when the state legislature passes the "Official State Cookie" bill. The experiments are all being called up by Ms. Jerrica's Fifth Grade Science Class in suburban Ames, Iowa.

"Okay Houston, I've finished the soldering-in-a-bag project. Buzz and I are beginning the experiment on how to add the mini-dinosaur marshmallows to the zero-gee oatmeal."
2003-11-10 05:56:20 PM  
During the space race, NASA spent a billion developing a biro that could write in space, the russians used a pencil.

Newsflash NASA!


OK so it takes 20 mins to cure but most joints hold for that long, or you can hold it in place firther down with a little superglue or some croc clips. It works great and is fantastic for surface mount soldering on a budget
2003-11-10 06:00:08 PM  
What, MacGyver unavailable for assistance?

My fiancee has no problem with bubbles, but then I guess that's considered micro-romance', not micro-gravity...
2003-11-10 06:06:03 PM  

And how would that get them funding dollars?
2003-11-10 06:10:24 PM  
maidtina: So how well does conductive epoxy cure in microgravity? And how does it do in the cold, vacuum of space in case anything outside needs soldering?
2003-11-10 06:16:12 PM  
cold and vacuum are mutually exclusive
2003-11-10 06:20:22 PM  
I just being an ass.
2003-11-10 06:20:46 PM  
If I'm on my way to Mars and I really needed that oxygen pump, I'd be glad that NASA at least looked into this.

... although it does kinda sound like what talldarknstinky said.

I bet the soldering iron costs at least $10K...
2003-11-10 06:30:58 PM  
"You fool! Now we may never
know if ants can be trained to sort tiny screws in space."
2003-11-10 06:31:49 PM  
Pic is from Expedition Two, launched in 2001. Glad to know they've been using the latest and greatest technology... such as the then 4 year old IBM Thinkpad 760 in the picture.

2003-11-10 07:01:31 PM  
No, shiat, talldarknstinky. Nasa had crew 7 bend the wires. Crew 8 solders the wires. Ya, that bending prolly took 100s of seconds.
2003-11-10 07:06:27 PM  
Ooooh, they mean SOLDERING not SOLDIERING. Silly me!
2003-11-10 07:06:47 PM  
I soldered a mod chip on a PSX once. It was hard as hell with those tiny little pads and all.
2003-11-10 07:20:17 PM  
Wow this
2003-11-10 07:52:28 PM  

NASA never spent billions of dollars making a pen that could work in space. They used pencils until a company made the pen for them for no charge, just publicity.
2003-11-10 08:30:32 PM  
What, MacGyver unavailable for assistance?

Nope, he knows that the Stargate Program is where the action is these days.
2003-11-10 08:43:49 PM  
Hey, i don't see any of those crazy, "lets waste money in space" fanatics here, yet. Don't worry, they'll be here shortly bragging how Nasa invented Velcro, the Internet, and skin grafts for pigs.
2003-11-10 09:15:14 PM  
Step 1: Spend $billions to study ant farms in space.
Step 2: Spend $billions to study tadpole farts in space.
Step 3: Spend $billions to study solder in space.
Step 4: ? ? ? ? ? ?
Step 5: PROFIT!
2003-11-10 09:32:27 PM  
Uh.. couldnt a ferrous/mercury solder be used and then use magnets (neodynium?) to generate 'false boyancy' to get the bubbles out? I mean, think about.. it'd be easier then it sounds.. plus you'd have something to catch that floating molten solder with...
2003-11-10 10:34:26 PM  
Actually impaler, they are not mutually exclusive.

Heat can be lost due to radiation.

*being an ass as well*
2003-11-10 11:11:36 PM  
Uh.. couldnt a ferrous/mercury solder be used and then use magnets (neodynium?) to generate 'false boyancy' to get the bubbles out? I mean, think about.. it'd be easier then it sounds.. plus you'd have something to catch that floating molten solder with...

That would work except

A)Marcury is highly toxic and heated mercury is far worse since mercury vapor is highly dangerous, especially in a completely enclosed area like a space vehicle

B)the hot solder would pull off of the joint if neodymium magnets were used, know the shape that iron filings make when on a magnet, you would have magnets covered toxic and possible pointed metal perhapse very low strength magnets with a non-matallic coating could be used as a backing on joints, sort of like the cheap flexable refridgerator magnets, but you would need some way to trap the toxic fumes
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