October 19, 2011 3:43
Nightmare of every astronaut or cosmonaut is certainly a situation where he is completely helpless, removed from their spacecraft into space with no hope of rescue. Existing rescue system, mainly cables, fired in the direction of an astronaut with springs or compressed gas, have a maximum range of 100 meters.
Therefore, the astronauts working in space, usually use jetpacks, using compressed nitrogen. But none of these precautions will not help the astronaut, who is unconscious or in a failed state. In this case, can only help the tractor beam, which will be run from the spacecraft or station.
The idea of creating a rescue system that uses a laser and does not use any exotic physical effects and phenomena, was born last year at John Sinko (John Sinko), an engineer from Ohio State University in Newark. Initially, this idea was developed as a method to clean the Earth orbit of space debris.
In accordance with the original project Cinco spacecraft and satellites will be equipped with small accelerators placed on their surface. Substance, which is the working body of this miniature accelerator is a passive medium, but which begins to evaporate under the influence of intense laser light with a certain wavelength. In order to use the accelerator needs only to bring him the laser beam, the material evaporates and creates a push, guide the spacecraft in the desired direction.
Now, Cinco, based on the above system, is working on a prototype device that can save the "lost" in space astronauts. In this case, the boosters, which were discussed above, are set right on the outside of the space suit. These boosters are equipped with transparent nozzles that do not interfere with the penetration of the laser light is sent spewing gases in the right direction, and protect them from the very astronauts. Such systems can be fitted with the same containers with equipment and tool kit, to avoid losing their cases in space, such that occurred in 2008.
Calculations and computer simulations made by Cinco and his colleagues have shown that this method will work. By concentrating the carbon dioxide laser light for 200 seconds on the accelerator with the mass of the working body of 1 kilogram, you can bring back the astronaut to fly away from the spacecraft at a speed of 1 meter per second.
But researchers warn that using a system of salvation, we must be very careful. Returning to the spacecraft, astronauts could face him and get physical damage.