The video comes from YouTube user, Veritasium. The description for this YouTube channel reads, ‘An element of truth – videos about science, education, and anything else I find interesting.’ The video that we have featured today talks about welding in space.
If you want to weld two pieces of metal together on Earth, you have to heat them beyond their melting point. We have all seen welders making use of welding torches to achieve these high temperatures for welding metals. However, when you go to space; things are different.
When it comes to space, cold welding is a phenomenon that was first experienced during the Gemini-IV mission. As per NASA, if two metals come into contact with one another in space; they can easily fuse together without requiring any heat or melting of one of the metals. This is possible because of the fundamental structure of metals.
The YouTube user will make use of a candy bar to explain this structure to viewers in a concise manner. We will try and explain it as well. On Earth, the oxygen reacts with the metal to form an oxide layer on the surface of the metal. This oxide layer prevents the metals from fusing together. However, in space, the oxide layer is worn away, and even a little bit of force or impact can make two metals fuse together. This is what cold welding is all about!
The YouTube user will also reveal something else about the Gemini IV mission and will explain why International Space Station is not a huge welded piece of metal already. The video also talks about the Galileo spacecraft that became a victim of cold welding as well. The YouTube user goes on to explain how cold welding can be avoided.
However, we don’t want to give away all of the details here. Check out the video below to learn more about cold welding and how it affects space missions.