From Our Sister Site: The Many Uses Of Gold, Part 6

We have previously discussed the ways which gold is valuable on terra firma. Today we will discuss the ways in which gold makes it so that we can communicate with the stars. Gold is vital for aerospace purposes. Check out our previous articles on the usage of gold in electronics and computers for a primer on today’s blog.

Space helmet, gold

With billions of dollars at stake when it comes to space travel, materials need to be dependable. Fixing a component in space is different than changing a tire on the side of the road. It’s not just more costly, it can be deadly. Maintenance and repair costs – but human and dollar – need to be as close to zero as possible. This is why gold has been turned to in the construction of every space vehicle launched by NASA and now independent companies such as SpaceX.

We have previously discussed golds usages in circuits, and check that article out. Now imagine those circuits being used in the void of space. Gold stays dependable, keeping it’s corrosive lacking properties even under the highest stress conditions. It is the most reliable conductor available for usage still. Most every part of every space vehicle are mounted with gold-coated film as well. This prevents the ambient radiation of space from leaking into the material – possibly harming the internal components of the humans inside of them.

Just as gold is vital for life on the ground, gold is vital for life above it. Gold prevents the internal components of space vehicles, objects, satellites, and more from overheating. The intrinsic properties of gold, previously discussed in this series, continue to apply even when off of this planet. Without the coating of gold, space travel and communication would be impossible.

Gold is also used to lubricate the joints between mechanical parts in space flight. Regular, earth bound lubricants do not stand up to the trials of space. They are broken down easily by the intense radiation of Earth’s atmosphere and beyond. Gold lacks these earth bound problems. It’s low, exceptionally low, shear strength means it can easily be used to coat the moving parts normally covered in lubricant. Instead, gold molecules slip past each other. Molding and unmolding under the forces of friction in a manner that acts as a lubricant. Gold makes space travel possible.

What do you think about the uses of gold in space travel and space communications? Share this story, and let us know in the comments!

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