Thank you. It's great to see so many of you interested in this series on "Survival in Outer Space." Please excuse the cameras; we're being videotaped for the local TV stations. Tonight I'm going to talk about the most basic aspect of survival—the space suit. When most of you imagine an astronaut, that's probably the first thing that comes to mind, right? Well, without space suits, it would not be possible for us to survive in space. For example, outer space is a vacuum—there's no gravity or air pressure; without protection, a body would explode. What's more, we'd cook in the sun or freeze in the shade with temperatures ranging from a toasty 300 degrees above to a cool 300 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The space suit that NASA has developed is truly a marvel. This photo enlargement here is a life-size image of an actual space suit worn by astronauts on the last space shuttle mission. This part is the torso. It’s made of seven extremely durable layers. This thick insulation protects against temperature extremes and radiation. Next is what they call a "bladder" of oxygen that's an inflatable sac, filled with oxygen, to simulate atmospheric pressure. This bladder presses against the body with the same force as the Earth's atmosphere at sea level. The innermost layers provide liquid cooling and ventilation. Despite all the layers, the suit is flexible, allowing free movement so we can work. Another really sophisticated part of the space suit is the helmet. I brought one along to show you. Can I have a volunteer come and demonstrate?
1. videotape: v. to record a television programme, film etc on a videotape 把(电视节目、电影等)录在录像(磁)带上
2. vacuum: n. [C]a space that is completely empty of all gas, especially one from which all the air has been taken away 真空
This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Christie Nicholson. This will just take a minute.
So check this out: "Hi my name is Adi Rajagopalan, I'm going on 18 in a few days, and my project was Modelling Synergistic Cellulolytic-Hemicellulolytic Enzyme Complexes for Lignocellulosic Hydrolysis."
And this: "Hi my name is Christine Shrock, I'm 18 and my project is Effects of Lid Dynamics on the Binding of MDM2 to the Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 with Implications for Cancer Therapeutics."
Now does that sound like any science fair project you created? Yeah me neither. But these two bright young students are finalists in the pinnacle of all science fairs, the Intel Science Talent Search, sometimes referred to as the “baby nobels,” where 40 of America’s brightest scientific talents were chosen from more than 1,600 high school applicants.
Intel and the Society for Science and the Public, rewarded finalists with a trip to D.C., where they presented their projects at the National Academy of Sciences, and yesterday, discussed the importance of math and science in a meeting with President Obama.
Since its launch as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, in 1942, finalist alumni have won seven Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals, three National Medals of Science and ten MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.
So let’s translate those two projects mentioned earlier.