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Rotting in space?

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posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 05:43 AM
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when an object like an old satellite or probe is left drifting in space (a vacum) what effects its decay?.....obviously a foriegn object(s) hitting it will cause damage but is there any other factors that cause deteriation....for example one could be tiny grains of dust constantly brushing over the surface would have the effect of 'shot blasting'?....is there any such known thing as 'space rust'?....(i know you need air for this but you see what i mean?)

Regards.




posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 05:53 AM
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I would imagine many things could occur. I guess we would need to know is the object still in orbit? If so, less of a chance except for a failure in orbit for it to hit anything, would have a better chance of something hitting it. Is the object floating through space no set course? Then I would imagine that various factors would affect the object, intense radiation, micro asteroids, big asteroids, dust as you mentioned.



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 11:58 AM
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I think entering an atmosphere would cause some decay.


Other than that, the only things that can cause space junk to decay would be dust/rock/whatever particles (as you already suggested), the intense cold, and other space junk.



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 12:04 PM
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Dry rot is a big problem with rubber and plastic .Dry happens because the oil in the plastic or rubber everaprets causing it to crack.
so any wiring will eventuly short out. In space this is even more of a problem because of the extreams of temp from -200 to pluse 200 frezz drying . Now ovesly NASA knows this so uses other compounds in its rubber plastic in order to reduce this problem .
and of corse all electronics are very senstive to all kinds of radiation .So most of the chips are encased to reduce that problem as well.



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 12:19 PM
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Just out of interest cmdrkeenkid; the thread title made me wonder, what would happen to an (already) dead body if jettisoned into space? Assuming it doesn't burn up in an atmosphere or get hit by anything, would it be preserved or would it explode or what?



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 12:23 PM
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I think it would still explode do to the internal pressures being greater than the external pressures of space, which are nearly zero.



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 12:24 PM
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It woud depend. If a body was jetisoned in such a way as to experience explosive decompression, the fluids and the disolved gasses in the fluids would boil off first. As the body cooled down, the fluids would freeze and continue to sublimate. If you froze the body first, then the fluid would sublimate and you would have a freeze dried corpse.

[edit on 11-2-2005 by HowardRoark]



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 12:30 PM
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Ah, thanks folks. A couple of after work beers can create strange questions.



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 03:56 PM
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kinda off topic




but i read somewhere you can have somewhat substantial erosion in space




for example, the plaques on the pioneer probe thats by now probably somewhere in the kuiper belt/oort cloud will erode away LONG before it reaches any star...but then again, its not pointed at any nearby star and will prob take a million years to get anywhere...




ah well...i always liked imaging the look on the face of the first people to find that thing...



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 05:11 PM
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Nasa seem to do regular tests on how materials survive in space, I think solar radiation can decay materials badly.

I recall reading a Nat Geo on it somewhere, where they had strips of materials and compounds exposed to space and left to see the weathering, some materials totally disappeared, which was lucky that they tested it first as they were going to use it in the solar panels.



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 07:00 PM
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I would think a close to Earth orbiting satelite would have an effect i.e. the gravitational pull of the planet.


E_T

posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 01:24 AM
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Considering dead probes and those, like Pioneers and Voyagers which travel to interstellar space, they could stay recognisable millions... even billions of years if they don't hit to some big object or wander too close to some star.



Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
I think it would still explode do to the internal pressures being greater than the external pressures of space, which are nearly zero.
Nope, pressure difference is only one bar.
Even SCUBA divers experience pressure change of ten bars when diving to hundred meter, they just have to ascend slow enough to allow body's internal pressure to lower so that body's internal pressure (especially gasses in body) doesn't grow too much bigger than external pressure. (pressure of environment)
imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov...



posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 06:32 PM
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Nasa has in the past put up strips of different materials to evaluate how each acts to the effects of space. Perhaps the Russians did the same thing, trying to see what works best in zero g atmosphere. So there should be some data out on the web perhaps that has the results of those tests, I wonder how long they were out there and would a longer period speed up the decay if found?

Michael



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