In The Martian by Andy Weir, the main character Mark Watney takes a laptop out of the habitation module to take notes. But when he comes out, he discovers that the LCD monitor is broken, because the liquid crystals have froze.
Small monitors are going to be handy in many cases, for example as a control panel on an unpressurised rover (Apollo style), or for various indicators on the outside of a habitation module or a lander.
But can we make computer screens work at such low temperatures? Which technologies can be used, and which can definitely be ruled out?
Factors that make it tricky for monitors to work includes:
- Very low temperatures, often lower than -60°C.
- An extremely thin atmosphere preventing proper heat flow.