The Expanse is chock full of nifty gadgets, technology and, uh, sexual recreation. But just how realistic is all of it? Let's take a look at all of the future tech in each episode and discuss just how possible it really is.
In Episode 5, After Amos injects himself with painkillers, Naomi sprays anti-septics and coagulant, which disinfect and seal his leg wound. She then applies an 'air cast,' which quickly expands and creates a hard shell.
It's widely thought that 3D printing will be the future of limb repair casting. Traditional casts are generally problematic in that they are susceptible to water, so wearers have trouble bathing, which can lead to hygiene issues. 3D printing would create a more structured support for broken limbs while also remaining lighter and more durable than currently used casts made of plaster or polyurethane. This cast certainly seems to take many elements of a 3D printed cast (with some future tech thrown in) - it's structured and tailored to Amos' leg.
But what is that black fluid? It appears to be some sort of self-hardening polymer, but the question remains, what is going on underneath the cast? Are their healing properties in the fluid? This may be one science question that we revisit at a later episode (hint hint).
In the access corridor of The Tachi, Naomi is presented with engineering readouts. Somehow, the ship knows she's an engineer, showing her drive diagnostics, core levels and life support information. Of course, the likely explanation is that Sgt. Lopez gave her access to such information. But let's get science-y and pretend not. How could the machine know that Naomi is an engineer? Voice recognition software! By correlating Naomi's speech patterns and word choices it could be able to ascertain her vocational background. Rudimentary technology like this already exists. Imagine it in the future!
Somehow, Havelock survived having a spike impaled through his chest. His wound is being treated with regeneration gel -- which, in theory, will heal his ravaged torso.
Researchers have already developed a skin gun that uses the patients own stem cells to create a liquid skin in burn victims, but could this sort of technology apply to more than skin? Could we heal organs with a gel? Last year at the Laboratoire Matière Molle et Chimie, researchers demonstrated that the principle of adhesion by aqueous solutions of nanoparticles can be used in vivo to repair soft-tissue organs and tissues. The basics behind this are that the nanoparticles contained in a solution spread out on surfaces and bind to the gel's (or tissue's) molecular network. So we'll see how quickly Havelock heals, but if this sort of gel technology has progressed by hundreds of years, it could be sooner than Miller thinks.
Delicious! The Tachi is fully stocked with food and drink, and Alex enjoys a tasty beverage in a Capri Sun-like package.
Squeeze pouch technology is decades old, but would they still be using them in the future, and in space? Astronauts actually already use containers that are similar to the one Alex is using, because they don't have gravity to help them out. Technology may have progressed beyond this, but even in the future there's probably no cheaper option than the ol' pouch o' fluids.
Holden is super-excited about the Tachi's coffee machine ... so much that he doesn't even notice that interesting botanical arrangement on the wall.
Let's assume that this display contains real plants and not fake ones (it's way more fun this way). It is common knowledge that plants grow towards their light source, so if the light in the middle of the display were a grow lamp of sorts this would be possible, and the orientation of the plants would be correct. But what about the whole 0g aspect of it all? Gravity is an important influence on root growth, but scientists have found that space plants don't need it to flourish. A research team from the University of Florida in Gainesville thinks this ability is related to a plant's inherent ability to orient itself as it grows. Seeds that germinated on the International Space Station sprouted roots that behaved like they would on Earth—growing away from the seed to seek nutrients and water in exactly the same pattern observed with gravity.
More 3D hologram fun with Miller, this time as he discovers the flight plan of a ship known as the Anubis.
It's one thing to have a hologram diplay, it's a completey different technological breakthrough to have it be interactive with human gestures. The crazy thing is that this technology already exists . . . kind of. Prepare yourself for the some hardcore sciencing here. The answer lies in something called Tangible Holographic Plasma, or at least that's the 21 century technology version of it. Imagine what the future holds!