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How the satellite parts get damaged

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  1. Aug 4, 2015 #1
    Hai PF,
    After a long time, I have again got a question now.The mars rovers or other satellite body which is made of metal. My question is, when the rover or satellite land on the surface of mars or moon does the metal experience any force on the body of the metal? Is there any posibility of change in the appearance of the metalsurface of the satellite due to low gravitational force or stress on the metal?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2015 #2
    Yes, the force produces it's weight, but anything designed to land on a surface has already been designed to handle it's own weight, likewise, things put in orbit are specifically designed for zero G. It has nothing to do with metal, the same would be true if it were made out of carbon nanotubes or anything else with mass.

    Radiation affects metal more than gravity, the cosmic radiation from space is easily absorbed by the metal. It doesn't really have any effect on the body of the object, other than possibly charging it, but it seriously affects electronics, which is why they must be shielded.
     
  4. Aug 4, 2015 #3
    The Mars rovers have all experienced some amount of 'wear and tear', even though designed to keep this to a minimum.
    'Curiosity' has developed a few holes and dents in it's wheels though not enough to be an immediate threat to it's mobility.
    Sometimes it's driven in reverse to reduce the possibility of the problem getting worse.
    It's simply mechanical wear and tear due to gravity and friction just as happens to vehicles on Earth.

    A few decades ago Russia (or USSR then) sent probes to Venus, (just landers, not rovers).
    Due to the unexpectedly harsh conditions at the surface all of them perished within an hour or so.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  5. Aug 4, 2015 #4

    Nidum

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    One of the fears during the Lunar landings was that the skin metal of the LEM was so thin in places that even a micrometeorite strike would seriously compromise hull integrity .

    There was no way to safeguard against this so the missions flew anyway based on the probability of a strike being acceptably low .
     
  6. Aug 5, 2015 #5
    what is known as LEM?
     
  7. Aug 5, 2015 #6

    berkeman

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  8. Aug 5, 2015 #7
    Lunar Excursion Module.
     
  9. Aug 5, 2015 #8
    You have mentioned that cosmic radiation effects are more damage than gravitational force? over radiation of cosmic radiation how it affects a metal?
     
  10. Aug 5, 2015 #9
    The universe is filled with charged particles moving at very high speed (accelerate by massive magnetic fields.) The solar wind comes off of the sun at about a million miles an hour. These are charged and you know that they are charged because when they hit the earth's magnetic field, they are funneled to our poles causing the northern and southern lights.

    Computers require very consistent environments. If you shock a computer chip, it's electrons jump all over the place and it loses whatever information was in the chip. So if a charged particle hits a computer chip, it causes an electronic shockwave through it which disrupts the computers. They don't even have to really hit it, a moving charge, creates a magnetic field.
     
  11. Aug 5, 2015 #10
    I am asking that how the cosmic radiation affect the outer covering metal surface of the satellite? And not about the electronics parts? sorry i am not arguing with you. just to clarify my doubt i am asking this.Does the overcosmic radiation affect the soil of the celestrial body?
     
  12. Aug 5, 2015 #11
    I don't think the radiation actually has any affect on the skin of the spacecraft other than charging it. There are a few things that would happen in the very long term though.

    A charged metal skin will attract atoms charged the opposite way. When metal touches metal in the vacuum of space, they instantly weld together. Very long term, a metal spacecraft would end up with a crust of welded on metallic space-dust, this is in magnitudes of millions of years though.
     
  13. Aug 5, 2015 #12
    Is the usage of metal on the outer surface is difficult. It means the designing of space craft would never include any metal surface?
     
  14. Aug 5, 2015 #13

    berkeman

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    Have a read through this article and the sub-articles that it references:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacecraft_design

    That should help you out. :smile:
     
  15. Aug 5, 2015 #14
  16. Aug 5, 2015 #15

    Nidum

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    One of the problems with earth orbit missions nowadays is space junk . NASA keeps track of most of the large bits but there are many untracked small bits out there as well .
     
  17. Aug 6, 2015 #16

    BobG

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    The Long Duration Exposure Facility provided quite a bit of info on the untracked small bits (at least the probability, frequency, and effect of strikes). It was a satellite dropped off by the space shuttle and picked up a few years later. Its sole purpose was to orbit the Earth and get struck by space debris. It had a multitude of surfaces covering its body in order to measure the effect of collisions on various types of surfaces.

    It made for a very pretty satellite, due to the various surfaces covering it. An image is posted here (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/LDEF_over_payload_bay.jpg), which I don't want to post directly, since the image is a bit large.
     
  18. Aug 6, 2015 #17

    berkeman

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    Can you imagine if an alien spacecraft was tooling by and saw that satellite in space? They'd be going WTH??!! (or whatever aliens say when they are confused...) :smile:
     
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