5 Mind-blowing Golden Creations in the Space Industry
Do you know to what extent does gold help in space exploration? Did you know that it can protect spacecraft from high temperatures and other damage in outer space?
Read on and discover other curiosities about gold in the space industry!
If you already think that science is mind-blowing, wait and see what science and gold can do together!
1. The gold helmet
This precious metal is used in all space suits: they must be equipped with gold-plated filters in helmets. Silver was also used to cover helmets, but it doesn't work that well: it heats up too fast because it is extremely good at reflecting the light. That is why, gold is the only metal to be used for this purpose.
2. Gold coating
Golden foil protects spacecraft from high temperatures and corrosion. In fact, a special film made from Kapton and a thin layer of gold, aluminum, or silver was especially designed for that purpose. Did you know that ALL the windows of space shuttles are covered with gold foil?
3. Gold plates
There are plates with gold in the NASA’s interplanetary probes "Voyager -1" and "Voyager -2". The probes also have recordings of different sounds, greetings in 55 languages, and 116 pictures of the Earth, some plants, animals and landscapes. This collection of materials is intended to establish some sort of communication with possible alien lives, and gold keeps it safe from erosion, exposure to cosmic dust and other dangers of outer space.
4.The gold mirror
The world’s most famous gold mirror has been assembled for the James Webb Space Telescope. It consists of 18 hexagonal segments and weighs 705 kg. Each section of the mirror is made from beryllium and covered with a 100-nanometer thick layer of gold. This telescope detects infrared radiation by means of gold, in which it is reflected. The James Webb Telescope is scheduled to be launched in 2018.
5. The gold cube
In 2015, NASA together with the European Space Agency presented the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft. It allows scientists to record data on the distribution of cosmic dust as a result of the motion of asteroids and comets. There are two 2-kilogram gold and platinum cubes free falling in this spacecraft to check if it can safely transport precious metals.
From gold in the outer space to gold back in the Earth: