Gaskets in outer space? Our favorite toy astronaut would likely announce that “this is an intergalactic emergency.”
But Buzz Lightyear aside, gaskets in outer space are a big deal. And have been a crucial element in space exploration longer than most may have thought.
Gaskets aren’t chasing down humans backed by their toy peers and a handful of perfectly-timed one-liners.
But they are just as active in their quest.
Gaskets, as we’ve come to understand, act as sealants. Their presence prevents the entry or escape of fluids. But that’s not the only reason why gaskets are in outer space.
Typically shaped as a ring or sheet, gaskets are made of several types of materials including metal, fiberglass, felt, paper, and rubber silicone. And as such gaskets do more than just stop liquid from getting where it shouldn’t. They can also lessen vibrations or friction, and reduce sound.
I know what you’re thinking. Zero gravity and liquid don’t go together, so where do gaskets come into play?
Manufacturing is the answer. When gaskets are manufactured, they are cut from material to fit like a glove. That means to achieve an airtight seal, gaskets are what’s needed.
Now the word airtight is far more fitting (pun intended) in reference to combating gravity in outer space, wouldn’t you agree?
Besides keeping stationary components designed to withstand stark fluctuations in both pressure and temperature together and as one functioning unit, let me share with you how else gaskets are used in the land of cosmos.
What are gaskets doing in outer space?
Not only are gaskets needed in the manufacturing of the space rockets themselves they also play an intricate role in multiple aerospace designs.
That’s right. Space shuttles can’t exist without the installation of various forms of gasket seals. Often used in conjunction with various parts of the space shuttle including the thrusters, and combustion chambers, gaskets are essential to these designs.
Some may argue the fact that perhaps space travel as a whole, would not be possible without gaskets.
You know those satellites in orbit around the Earth? You guessed it, they require gaskets, too.
Gaskets also have a profound role when it comes to space exploration vehicles.
Industrial-strength gaskets prevent leakage, yes, but they also hold extreme amounts of pressure and avert contaminating substances from entering space vehicles.
Out there beyond the earth’s cozy atmosphere, the climate gets crazy. And it’s gasket seals that astronauts rely on to protect them out there in the dark, and cold vacuum of space.
Temperatures soar up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and plummet below -200 in the opposite direction. And gasket seals are exposed to both liquid hydrogen and oxygen while in flight.
Being made of rubber silicone, though, these space-aged gaskets are highly adaptable. That means silicone-based gaskets have been providing airtight seals for some of the most iconic space explorers.
Think Apollo, Atlantis, Endeavor… All of those greats were constructed with the use of gaskets.
So gaskets have been providing protective bindings for spacecraft for generations.
Gaskets out for exploration
Space is vast and seemingly endless to the naked eye and existing manmade space technologies. Which makes the continued manufacturing of gaskets a necessity.
Did I mention that gasket seals are sustainable in nature? That means they’re reusable! They’re also often re-arranged and then reused for spacecraft specifications.
So what makes Gorilla Gaskets a premier choice for manufacturing gasket seals for space exploration?
The bottom line is it’s all about the couture. That is to say, it’s all about the design and fit. The latter being the most important of all.
An incorrectly installed gasket can cause serious damage and cost lives.
For this reason, gaskets are ordered and manufactured precisely and using scientific specifications.
Specifications for manufacturing include informing Gorilla Gasket of external factors such as:
- Temperature and pressure considerations
- The presence of corrosive substances
- Hygiene requirements for any medical equipment onboard the spacecraft
- Electromagnetic or electronic forces
- Liquid emissions or unwanted gases
The cosmos are an unforgiving and unpredictable environment. And so much of it remains undiscovered. It’s a good thing that gaskets are so reliable.
Gaskets keep out the humidity, and moisture, resist high temperatures and even keep out dust. I think that’s pretty amazing. Is there anything gaskets can’t do?
The importance of gaskets in outer space
“The important thing is that we stick together.” ~Buzz Lightyear
In the last decade and a half, space exploration has gained popularity in the private sector. Global leaders like Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos have all invested in space exploration in recent years.
Each doing so with the goal of making space travel a business. Shuttling the wealthy between the stars and dark matter for high-priced commercial air tickets.
That’s great news for Gorilla Gasket, though.
Gasket seals are crucial for the successful function of important electrical systems on board, in addition to the intricate mechanical equipment that makes up the construction of spacecraft.
This is why it’s so important that gaskets be fitted perfectly for the job they’re intended to perform. Spacechuttles are expensive and the loss of one as a result of a faulty gasket is a complete catastrophe.
Although there have been solid advancements in space technology over the years, gasket manufacturers stay focused on avoiding the costly mistakes of the past.
In 1995, one tiny electrical problem almost destroyed spacecraft Columbia a short five seconds after the shuttle took off. In 1972, a space pilot had to eject after another electrical misfiring suspected to be a result of navigating in bad weather.
In other past scenarios, there’s been the loss of life… So you see, gaskets are truly important to space exploration.
With gaskets thriving in outer space, is there anywhere we won’t need to use gaskets? Not likely.
As far as gaskets are concerned the need for reliable sealants will be around in some shape or form for infinity… and beyond!
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