Special Physical Experiments


And now to the important question: What benefits could the described space station bring mankind! Oberth has specified all kinds of interesting proposals in this regard and they are referenced repeatedly in the following. For example, special physical and chemical experiments could be conducted that need large, completely airless spaces or require the absence of gravity and, for that reason, cannot be performed under terrestrial conditions. Furthermore, it would be possible to generate extremely low temperatures not only in a simpler fashion than on the Earth, but absolute zero could also be approached much more closely than has been possible in our refrigeration laboratories to date, approximately 1° absolute, that is, 272° Celsius, has been attained there because, besides the technique of helium liquefaction already in use for this purpose, the possibility of a very extensive cooling by radiating into empty space would be available on the space station.

The behavior of objects could be tested under the condition of an almost complete absence of heat, something that could lead to extremely valuable conclusions about the structure of matter as well as about the nature of electricity and heat, as the experiments of that type carried out previously in our refrigeration laboratories would lead us to expect. Probably even practical benefits perhaps even to the grandest extent would also result as a further consequence of these experiments. In this context, we could think of the problem, for example, of discovering a method for using the enormous amounts of energy bound up in matter.

Finally, in consideration of the special potentials offered by a space station, the problems of polar light, of cosmic rays, and of some other natural phenomena not yet fully explained could be brought to a final clarification.


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