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Meteoroid Gatherer

Another use for duct tape
  [vote for,

Along behind the shuttle, trailing on long (long) lines are big wads of duct tape, sweeping the heavens for teeny tiny little pieces of space debris, all of which will stick. A cheap way to troll the heavens and thereby increase our knowledge, what better material to use? Back in Houston..." A ring-tab?"
stringstretcher, Nov 07 2003

Space dust capture http://news.nationa...spacedust.html#main
At the end, they propose gathering space dust using aerogel - really very similar to [stringy's] proposition! [bungston, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

EVA information http://quest.nasa.g...rs/liftoff/eva.html
Including information on the protective qualities of the suit. [waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       Start unwinding duct tape in space and you're just going to turn the asteroid belt into one giant sticky mess.
DrCurry, Nov 07 2003

       Thats precisely what I was thinking, [Mr Burns] ... I have the original NES release of Metroid
Letsbuildafort, Nov 07 2003

       Its for sure one of my top favs ... I'll trade you Super Metroid for a Mark McGuire Rookie card, and my soda at lunch tomorrow!
Letsbuildafort, Nov 07 2003

       Man, you folks are as old as I am, I remember meteroid! And I have seen the andromeda strain... scared me, too. But you don't think that any of that stuff cound come unstuck from a whole roll of silver wonder, do you?
stringstretcher, Nov 07 2003

       You need to rethink this while considering the relative velocities of the objects involved. Then you will see why it would not work as planned.
waugsqueke, Nov 07 2003

       Ahhh, but you see, that is all realtive! I *might* pickup "something!" And that would happen all for the price of a roll of duct tape. It is an experiment, so there is no way to predict the results successfully ahead of time, since your prediction is based upon assumption, no? So, if you haul in the tape and study whatever is attatched to it, and find nothing... no big loss, either.
stringstretcher, Nov 09 2003

       // Ahhh, but you see, that is all realtive! I *might* pickup "something!" //   

       No, you won't pick up anything.   

       You are right, it's all relative. Since you didn't bother to check into the velocities involved, here's your lesson. Your shuttle is traveling at about 8 kilometers per second. Meteors/meteoroids are traveling about 42 kilometers per second, over five times faster. Even if traveling in the same direction, your meteoroid will strike the duct tape at a relative velocity of about 70,000 mph, which will penetrate it faster than any bullet fired on earth.
waugsqueke, Nov 09 2003

       No one has mentioned the fact that it’s bloody cold up there. The sealant used for duct tape would become a very thin film of un-sticky and quite inflexible ice.   

       There is some merit in this idea. Currently, space dust is gathered by means of a large funnel on the nose of a very high-flying plane (I will look for a link). It seems an inefficient way to gather space dust. Conventional sticky duct tape will probably freeze - although maybe not, depending on solar radiation - it might get pretty hot. Instead of duct tape, you could do this with long, charged mylar strips. They could be very long, trailing behind the shuttle for miles. Not only would it look beautiful thru a telescope, it might pick up a lot of dust. Even if the dust were moving fast, and even if it punched thru the strips, dust is small and should be stoppable by electrostatics.
bungston, Nov 09 2003

       I can appreciate the validity of your technical explanations, and even agree... but why don't the astronauts meet the same fate you describe during EVA? Is there some way then, to use the suits they wear to capture particles for analysis?
stringstretcher, Nov 10 2003

       // why don't the astronauts meet the same fate you describe during EVA? //   

       Because they are wearing substantially more than duct tape for protection.   

       The solution is to trap particles inside of material that will slow and capture them, such as aerogel. As you can see by bung's link, NASA is way ahead of you on this.
waugsqueke, Nov 10 2003

       NASA is way ahed of me on a couple of things, but it is fun to dweam...Now what am I gonna do wid alla dis tape??
stringstretcher, Nov 11 2003


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