Thinking about heating and cooling

It seems like movies that have to do with outer space are becoming more and more popular these days. I went to see one in the movie theater a couple of years ago and have noticed the trend popping up more and more since. I just finished watching one of the latest movies with my boyfriend and had so many questions about things it seems like they could have been doing. How did they lose contact with the space station the main character was on? Why did they have to go through such extreme measures to communicate with that person? It just didn’t seem to make sense to me. I also didn’t understand how he had a station that was powered and able to provide heating for him when he wanted it and air conditioning when he didn’t. I didn’t know what kind of power source was possible on that planet and how he was able to maintain his comfort levels so efficiently. I know we’re millions of miles away (literally) from making such extreme advancements like the movie portrayed, but it really got me thinking about how space shuttles and stations work. They must have a very modern heating and cooling system that keeps the occupants at the right level of comfort all the time. The people on the station probably also have to be trained to fix such equipment, so they need to be a sort of HVAC technician on the side, or at least have the knowledge to be one. A lot can go wrong in outer space, and having an HVAC system that doesn’t work sounds really bad.

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