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Walter Bubie asked the Naked Scientists:Thank you all for a very enlightening and entertaining show!My question: What is the risk of breakage of some exterior part of the space station being repaired by astronauts, considering the super cold temps of space? I have seen those lab demos where tough objects are dipped in liquid nitrogen and then easily shattered with a good whack. I imagine it is as cold in space - at least in the 'shade'. Or are all space repairs done in sunlight so the repair area warms up before any bolts are turned (without being snapped)? Thanks!What do you think?
A "living" spacecraft skin probably explains a related question I had - how does the ISS tolerate, what I imagine are significant thermal expansion/contraction gradients created when "half" the craft is in a cold shadow and the other half is in the direct heat of the sun.