[757labs] HackerSpaces in Space 2011
trevorl.salad at gmail.com
Wed Oct 19 14:40:43 EDT 2011
Hydrogen *is* dangerous. So is electricity. So is Mt. Dew (according to my
wife anyway, and I still don't believe her). If the design called for us to
cover the balloon in thermite, generate high voltages, carry a crapload of
diesel, and make it an electrically unsafe tinderbox, you would find me
conspicuously absent as well. :)
The hydrogen wasn't the greatest cause of death on the Hindenburg anyway,
it was the fall, and burns from the fuel. Admitedly there was no way it
could have survived once the hydrogen was ignited, but anyway...
With the proper amount of respect and precautions it can be worked with in
Now there is a way to create hydrogen without generating oxygen gas at the
same time. Use gallium, aluminum, and water. Essentially the gallium allows
the water to react with the aluminum without oxidizing, the water is
consumed and you're left with hydrogen, aluminum oxide, and the gallium is
left largely unchanged. The reaction is limited by the amount of water
that's introduced, and although you can use any kind of water for this
process, pure water will allow you to more closely determine the amount of
hydrogen that will be released. The gallium can actually be reused directly
and the aluminum oxide can be recycled. Oh, and the gallium is *cheap*
A pressure cooker, 2 one way valves (one to introduce water, one to vent
hydrogen) and you're golden.
In theory.... :)
On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 11:48 AM, Steve Nelson <snelson at webapper.com> wrote:
> Two minor ideas...
> 1) What about a propeller attached to the bottom of the balloon. As it
> rises, the propeller spins, charging the battery. We could use a smaller
> 2) Could we control the descent using a combination of GPS
> signal+accelerometer+compass that moves a wing, kind of like those
> parachuters that attach snowboards to their feet? and/or shorten/lengthen
> the strings on the parachute.
> How badass would it be if the balloon landed one mile away?
> 757labs mailing list
> 757labs at 757labs.org
> If we knew what we were doing it wouldn't be research.
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