Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Science fiction is what scientists would do if they could - if they had enough grant money, enough time, and enough brains to do the wonderful things they would like to do."
- Greg Bear

Tag-Along Balloon  
  A bladder-like device that both finds and temporarily fixes leaks in moon tunnels or space station habitats.  

You're in a space station or habitat in a vacuum. One of the most serious dangers you face is the loss of air; how can you find and fix leaks?

There were perhaps a dozen bladder-like objects in the tunnel, the size and shape of toy balloons. They seemed to displace exactly their own weight of air; they floated without displaying much tendency to rise or settle. Konski batted one out of his way and answered me before I could ask.

"This piece of tunnel was pressurized today," he told me.

"These tag-alongs search out stray leaks. They're sticky inside. They get sucked up against a leak, break, and the goo gets sucked in, freezes and seals the leak."

"Is that a permanent repair?" I wanted to know.

"Are you kidding? It just shows the follow-up man where to weld."

From Gentlemen, Be Seated, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Argosy in 1948
Additional resources -

This is such a simple solution to the problem. The slow leak of air causes the balloons to move to the source of the problem. When they are sucked up against the small hole, they are popped, releasing material to stop up the leak.

Obviously, this would only work with small leaks.

Speaking of larger leaks, compare this to the smoke-jets from Leo Zagat's 1932 story The Great Dome of Mercury.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Gentlemen, Be Seated
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Gentlemen, Be Seated
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Tag-Along Balloon-related news articles:
  - Ultrasonic Noise Betrays ISS Leaks

Articles related to Space Tech
How Many Systems In That Galactic Empire Now?
Britain To Build Spaceport, First In Europe
Testing New Spacesuits In 1929 And 2015
Space Station Kitchens 1929 and 2015

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

eMotionButterfly Ultralight Robot From Festo
'Artificial butterflies darted along invisible beams...'

Graphene Cytobot - Cyborg Bacterial Spores May Help Astronauts
'[It] had not yet objected to being made over into a portion of an electronic system... '

XM82 Personal Flamethrower Now In Development
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'

LiquiGlide Will Be Everywhere
'They poured the remnants of eggs out of their frictionless cups...'

How Many Systems In That Galactic Empire Now?
'An Empire to twenty million stellar systems...'

Petman Robot Pushes Itself To The Limit
'There was the butler robot, hard at work, his copper face expressionless...'

Coleus LED 'Skylight' Dispenses Natural Sunlight Indoors
'How do they work it so that the sky is visible at every level of the city?'

UR3 Robot At Work On Copies Of Itself
'I don't mean that you should construct this ultra-microrobot with your own fingers, of course...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.