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The pressure inside the cabin is technically referred to as the equivalent effective cabin altitude or more commonly as the cabin altitude. This is defined as the equivalent altitude above mean sea level having the same atmospheric pressure according to a standard atmospheric model such as the International Standard Atmosphere. Thus a cabin altitude of zero would have the pressure found at mean sea level, which is taken to be 101.325 kilopascals (14.696 psi).
Russian engineers used an air-like nitrogen/oxygen mixture, kept at a cabin altitude near zero at all times, in their 1961 Vostok, 1964 Voskhod, and 1967 to present Soyuz spacecraft. This requires a heavier space vehicle design, because the spacecraft cabin structure must withstand the stress of 14.7 pounds per square inch (1 bar) against the vacuum of space, and also because an inert nitrogen mass must be carried. Care must also be taken to avoid decompression sickness when cosmonauts perform extravehicular activity, as current soft space suits are pressurized with pure oxygen at relatively low pressure in order to provide reasonable flexibility.
By contrast, the United States used a pure oxygen atmosphere for its 1961 Mercury, 1965 Gemini, and 1967 Apollo spacecraft, mainly in order to avoid decompression sickness. Mercury used a cabin altitude of 24,800 feet (7,600 m) (5.5 pounds per square inch (0.38 bar)); Gemini used an altitude of 25,700 feet (7,800 m) (5.3 psi (0.37 bar)); and Apollo used 27,000 feet (8,200 m) (5.0 psi (0.34 bar)) in space. This allowed for a lighter space vehicle design. Before launch, the pressure was kept at slightly higher than sea level at a constant 5.3 psi (0.37 bar) above ambient for Gemini, and 2 psi (0.14 bar) above sea level at launch for Apollo), and transitioned to the space cabin altitude during ascent. However, the high pressure pure oxygen atmosphere proved to be a fatal fire hazard in Apollo, contributing to the deaths of the entire crew of Apollo 1 during a 1967 ground test. After this, NASA revised its procedure to use a 40% nitrogen/60% oxygen mix at zero cabin altitude at launch, but kept the low-pressure pure oxygen in space
Artificial photosynthesis is a chemical process that replicates the natural process of photosynthesis, a process that converts sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen; as an imitation of a natural process it is bio mimetic. The term, artificial photosynthesis, is commonly used to refer to any scheme for capturing and storing the energy from sunlight in the chemical bonds of a fuel (a solar fuel). Photo catalytic water splitting converts water into hydrogen ions and oxygen, and is a major research topic of artificial photosynthesis. Light-driven carbon dioxide reduction is another process studied, that replicates natural carbon fixation.
Research of this topic includes the design and assembly of devices for the direct production of solar fuels, photo electrochemistry and its application in fuel cells, and the engineering of enzymes and photoautotrophic microorganisms for microbial bio fuel and bio hydrogen production from sunlight.
An airlock is a device which permits the passage of people and objects between a pressure vessel and its surroundings while minimizing the change of pressure in the vessel and loss of air from it. The lock consists of a small chamber with two airtight doors in series which do not open simultaneously.
An airlock may be used for passage between environments of different gases rather than different pressures, to minimize or prevent the gases from mixing.
An airlock may also be used underwater to allow passage between an air environment in a pressure vessel and the water environment outside, in which case the airlock can contain air or water. This is called a floodable airlock or an underwater airlock, and is used to prevent water from entering a submersible vessel or an underwater
Spacelab was a reusable laboratory used on certain spaceflights flown by the Space Shuttle. The laboratory comprised multiple components, including a pressurized module, an unpressurized carrier and other related hardware housed in the Shuttle’s cargo bay. The There was a variety of Spacelab-associated hardware, so a distinction can be made between the major Spacelab program missions with European scientists running missions in the Spacelab habitable module, missions running other Spacelab hardware experiments, and other STS missions that used some component of Spacelab hardware. There is some variation in counts of Spacelab missions, in part because there were different types of Spacelab missions with a large range in the amount of Spacelab hardware flown and the nature of each mission. There were at least 22 major Spacelab missions between 1983 and 1998, and Spacelab hardware was used on a number other missions, with some of the Spacelab pallets being flown as late as 2008. Components were arranged in various configurations to meet the needs of each spaceflight. In August 1973, NASA and ESRO (now European Space Agency or ESA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a science laboratory for use on Space Shuttle flights. Construction of Spacelab was started in 1974 by the ERNO (subsidiary of VFW-Fokker GmbH, after merger with MBB named MBB/ERNO, and part of EADS SPACE Transportation since 2003)
More than 3 billion people across the world are affected by not having access to clean water or proper sanitation, resulting in the death of over 800,000 children each year. Solving this problem isn’t as simple as install sewer or septic systems, as they require more energy and infrastructure than could be effective maintain in many developing state. Waste from the latrines most commonly used in these areas are left untreated and merely dumped into local rivers and other bodies of water, where it will contribute to the spread of disease.
The latest venture from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seeks to resolve this problem by create a wastewater treatment method that eliminates disease-causing sewage from the environment and converts it into clean, drinking water. The steam engine-powered device is called the Omni processor, manufactured by Seattle-based Jonick Bio energy. The Omni processor can convert human waste into clean, drinking water in a matter of minutes, while produce energy to incinerate the remained waste solids and leave 260 kilowatts to spare. The resulting ash does not have an odor and will not contain disease-causing microbes.
Using the waste from 200,000 people, the Omni processor will produce 75,000 litres of water per day, enough for 63,000 people. Though there is a deficit in supply and demand, this will be a tremendous relief for people in these areas. This isn’t meant to be strictly charity, but a means of creating self-supported economies.
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