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I recently found out about sending stuff into space and using the unique zero gravity and cosmic radiation riddled environment to investigate stuff like crystal growth. Since thin film science is a hot topic still, I am wondering what can be done in space?

Things that come to mind, which likely have been covered already, include radiation protection, energy conversion, perhaps even using cosmic radiation to stimulate some desirable chemical reactions that only need some high-energy source to get started.

As an aside, it would be preferable if said experiments could be done on an amateur hobbyist's budget, but it not, it's a fun thought experiment at least to see what could be done.

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I don't see zero-gravity experiments being done on amateur budget. –  Bernhard Aug 31 '12 at 6:25
    
Well, launching something high into the sky may be good enough. I'm interested in what that implies for experiments but I'm not sure I want to spend money on something someone else has already done. There's no real time limit. I could take years slowly building stuff up if I want. But to get a sense of direction I'm thinking of what micro gravity has to offer. What would really change up there? And then there's the matter of cosmic radiation. What can you do with that? Demonstrate some method of sending information back to earth with less errors? Maybe some fluid behaves weirdly up there... –  Timothy Bollinger Aug 31 '12 at 22:45
    
Aside from plain old rate, the thing that changes in cosmic radiation when you get above the atmosphere is composition. At sea level most of the cosmic flux is muons. Above the atmosphere it is mostly protons, but then you need to ask yourself what happens to the flux between the exterior of the craft and where you put your experiment unless you can get it outside. –  dmckee Sep 6 '12 at 21:56
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