What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Aerogels

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Aerogels, high-surface-area porous solids will be employed due to their light weight and low heat conduction to achieve optimal insulation of the Mars surface. Aerogels as a whole are made by creating a gel then extracting the solvent with supercritical fluid extraction. This leaves a very porous, low-density solid. Due to their porous nature, aerogels are considered to be the finest insulation materials available. Silica aerogels are good insulators, but will flake apart and produce dust in the Mars atmosphere. For this reason, all-polymer aerogels should be used over their silica-based counterparts. They can be created as thin, flexible films and are 500 times stronger than silica-aerogels. These polymer aerogels can withstand temperatures of up to 400°C without breaking down, and can be put beneath heat-resistant ceramic fabric. These aerogels resist wear and tear due to moisture while maintaining their flexibility. Due
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The water from this process can then be used to produce oxygen and extra hydrogen through an electrolysis reaction. The oxygen produced can be used for breathing in the Mars atmosphere while the hydrogen can be combined with either the crew’s expended CO2 or atmospheric CO2 in order to produce more water. This is the basis of the Sabatier Reaction, which is the most credible way for space dwellers to receive the oxygen required for life in space.3,4 The water produced from the Sabatier Reaction can be collected through centrifugation, condensation, or absorption. It can then be electrolyzed to form more hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can be reused in the fuel cell, while the oxygen will be used to create a breathable atmosphere for the crew. The reaction also creates a methane product, which can either be vented out into the atmosphere or stored for possible use in

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