My research on water in space introduced me to the habitable zone of where life can exist and where H2O can exist as a liquid. Despite the atmosphere of space being empty and freezing, scientists now believe the moons of Saturn and Jupiter are holding water. I started out finding all this information in a couple of books from the library but their information was more general and on areas that didnt relate to water (or in a way that i could spin in my favour). I then turned to various scientific magazines, such as Discover, Popular Science, American Scientist, Science Illustrated, and New Scientist as well as a slew of websites from NASA's own to the Times, the Guardian and many magazines own archives.
Having so many different sources and having to put them onto this blog kind of got the better of me... I hoard reference material and used to print it all out for a folder but now putting on this blog is still taking some getting used to...
water on the moon:
water on mars:
search for life:
I even looked at who owns the moon ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6533169.stm / http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/081210-who-owns-moon.html )
but as I've said a few times before, looking at water in space is kind of a dead end at the moment. We're at the point in history where new discoveries are just being made, as new plans for missions to Jupiter won't go ahead until later this year along with the possibility of returning to the moon so I've had to change my direction on water, space and how it affects us. With ideas of mining water from the moon it wouldnt really benefit us here on Earth, the scarcity of water is becoming a threat as the planet warm ups and the population continues grow, so i thought about looking at the developments made in space that would allow us to recycle water etc.
This again didnt prove to be too resourceful unless i wanted to research microchips etc. However, a lot of these discoveries have been made aboard the International Space Station (ISS), wheres since it's initial construction, it has carried out experiments in its on board laboratory that have benefited us here on Earth.
I then started looking into what the astronauts do on board and how they live... which I decided to focus my attention on and although it took me approx 3 and a half weeks out fo the 4 weeks allocated for this brief.. i eventually came up with the working title of...
"Should we be living as astronauts?"
as soon as I had this idea in my head, pieces of information and facts that i could illustrate immediately came to mind... although i did feel that this wasnt truly fitting to the brief (as if i expected it to be harder and that i should create a piece of work that will change peoples minds etc). I think I was getting too hung up on certain details (as usual) rather than focusing my attention down to a particular idea/theme...
although the ISS had this water recycler on board for a while, they werent officially allowed to use it's water until safety tests were carried out but now... this piece of equipment will produce 6,000 lbs of drinkable water for its crew, saving on ferrying water to the ISS and waste.
what i should probably explain is that aboard the ISS, every piece of water is recycled to the best of their ability, that means sweat from the crew and moisture inside the ISS is condensed to be used as well as urine. Even the animals aboard the ISS contribute to the water recycling.. and i found out a fact about 72 rats producing the same amount as one crew member.. however it didnt say if this was water that was recycled from them or that they could produce.. so... i left that out of my final work. (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast02nov_1.htm)
but i started looking at how they get water to space (same way the astronauts get there!) as its transported in large duffel bags and how astronauts go about their daily routine such as cleaning their teeth, having a wash and using the toilet. It's at this point that I discovered certain facts about water consumption aboard the ISS and decided to compare and contrast it to what the average family uses on Earth, for example they cant flush the toilet! they use a dry powder shampoo and what seems common knowledge now... their food is freeze dried but features instructions on the packaging on how much water to add to the food and how long to leave it hydrating for...
(god knows why they put Tight Fit's Lion sleeps tonight!) but this is clips from the IMAX Space Station movie, that shows the beginning of the space station during its assembly and its start up with the first crew aboard it to general living and activities of the crew.
I had already decided from the beginning that i wanted to make posters (and preferably screen print them).. but my idea changed slightly... i had originally thought about doing propaganda style posters mimicking the old space race posters and giving them a retro futurist style based on the ficitional idea that the first ones to plant a flag on water would control it for their people... (i mean the russians have planted flags underneath the ice so... why not? ;) but being an initial idea, it wasnt thought out too well. In the end with all the facts I found out I wanted to produce a sort of government information leaflet, since there are a tonne of organisations and websites giving us tips on how to save water - which all basically say.. turn off the tap whilst brushing your teeth or flushing the toilet less - but i didnt want to produce a large wordy pamphlet. I even thought of making an animation again.. but considering I get a little carried away when it comes to things like that I decided i'd best not... so.. i again came to posters as a quick and striking method to deliver information. We were meant to exhibit the work once we finished, so I figured the easiest way for someone to get my idea would be to make a bright striking image that you could glance at and understand but with very little text as I know peoples attention spans arent what they used to be.. ;)
I ended up coming up with these visual delights.. it gave me an opportunity to use Illustrator again (although i really dont know why i like that program so much!)... again sticking with the being able to glance at them idea, i went with designing simple to understand icons (or what i thought were easy to understand) and i hope that they could be universally understood no matter the language... and i cant help but try to include some humour in my work... (check out the 4 humans on the my water recycler illustration).
I'm happy with what I ended up producing, albeit a little rushed, I wasted many weeks researching and pondering over where to go next, and the problem with printers on deadline day (but thankfully i was able to print them in colour! and cheaper!)... but it wasnt until sticking them up that i noticed 2 stupid grammatical errors.. (theres no point changing them here as the tutors will have already marked it and seen the posters)... so.. on the pink one (recycler poster) in the last sentence i typed 'forceand' instead of 'force and' ... then on the orange (shower poster) I started the the last two lines with the same word ' Whereas' which just doesnt make for proper grammar nor reading! :( let this stand as evidence to ALWAYS proof read final pieces and not to rush it all on the last day :P ahahhahahah yeah right!
I still have a LOAD of website links that hold other bits of information and as a result I now avidly keep checking Discover magazine's site for updates as well as having rekindled my interest in getting my own telescope or joining ManAstro.co.uk .
Some other interesting bits of information I found out during my hunt for facts were...
due to zero gravity conditions, all bodily fluids start rising to the highest points in the body it can, so this is why the astronauts have to keep exercising in order to keep their muscles in their legs healthy... but as a side effect their taste buds become dulled thus why they prefer spicy foods! (the astronauts menu isnt as bland as popular thoery would have you believe!)