The inhabitants of the International Space Station can breathe more easily this week, after a new oxygen generator was switched on. The new US-built machine will support the existing, but flaky, Russian Elektron generator, New Scientist reports. The new system was switched on on Wednesday, and by Thursday afternoon NASA said …
I have to ask...
...which crew member had to get married to a hairy alien in return for the oxygen generation unit?
they bought the Russian one, first because...
it said in the brochure that it'll take you breath away.
I have a number of oxygen generators in my home. I call them plants. I wonder if we could get around the oxygen generation problem on the ISS by coating the interior with algae.
I nearly spat my drink out when I heard what he had to ask
But they weren't aliens, they were Genetically Engineered Life Forms or GELFS
Funniest comment I've heard in ages!
"The new US-built machine will support the existing ... generator"
Like a table then?
'which crew member had to get married to a hairy alien in return for the oxygen generation unit?'
You mean which crew member married Ainsley Harriot ;-)
Let's just hope there's not a Polymorph aboard . . .
Does this mean that this generator could be used to fuel a Hydrogen car with just Water? It seems like that is the big issue involved; how to get Hydrogen stored safely up to the point it is burned.
Perhaps it takes more energy than it could produce in the engine? Or too big to fit into a car?
Power a car
"Does this mean that this generator could be used to fuel a Hydrogen car with just Water?"
In space only the 2nd law of thermodynamics can hear you scream.
What Steve meant, by the way, is that it requires energy to run the Oxygen Generator, though as far as I can tell the Second Law doesn't come into it. The O2 generator probably has a theoretical limit to its efficiency, but I doubt that it is related to the amount of chemical energy stored in H2. Theoretically if the Generator was efficient enough it could use water as a sort of power amplifier - use a small battery to separate enough H2 to generate far more energy.
And that all is assuming that the Generator actually releases H2 as its O2 byproduct, which it doesn't necessarily have to do.
All in all, though, I suspect that NASA's gear is quite expensive and probably draws quite a lot of power for the amount of O2 it can process - humans require quite a bit less of that than a car would.
They bought the Russian one because...
Well, at the time, only Russia had any recent experience in long-term space living. Before the ISS, the longest any American had stayed in space (except when visiting Mir) was 84 days.