• Question: in your experiment are you using unwanted materials if so which ones?

    Asked by 683spcn38 to Leah-Nani, Kathryn, Ian, Andrew on 22 Jun 2018.
    • Photo: Kathryn Burrows

      Kathryn Burrows answered on 22 Jun 2018:

      I work at a kind of software engineering, producing computer simulations so there are not any relevent unwanted materials as such.

    • Photo: Leah-Nani Alconcel

      Leah-Nani Alconcel answered on 22 Jun 2018:

      Most of the materials we use are specially designed for going into space, so none of it is “unwanted”. In fact a lot of it is quite expensive to manufacture so none of it goes to waste! Occasionally we order extras of things, like electronic components or shielding foil, when we’re building an instrument. We save the extras and then use them in later instrument builds.

    • Photo: Andrew Margetts-Kelly

      Andrew Margetts-Kelly answered on 22 Jun 2018:

      When we design things we often:
      * use the best,
      * or the cheapest,
      * or the lightest,
      * or the strongest.
      There is always a reason for picking the materials we do. So in that sense nothing is unwanted.

      There are some cases I think. Like when we design electronics, if we have a large stock of a certain component and we want to use them instead of throwing them away, we will make a compromise and design it in to save cost. In away they are unwanted materials.