Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has this week returned a request from a couple of high school science students to perform a simple experiment aboard the International Space Station: wringing out water from a wet washcloth. It’s shown first that a washcloth on the ISS is stored in a sort of hockey puck form, smashed down to its smallest physical form to avoid taking up any unnecessary space aboard the space station. From there it’s a lengthy task just unfolding the piece of material for basic use.
The washcloth itself is made wet offscreen as the task appears to spoil the surprise for the viewer. The viewers, mind you, are part of the brand new NFB Space School just revealed this week. This program is housed by the National Film Board in Canada and will continue to make use of the efforts of Chris Hadfield aboard the ISS as well as other Canadians willing to join in on the education.
Once water is released into the station, you’ll see it take on a blob-like form. Once it is (seemingly) inside the cloth, it travels with the cloth. This is similar to what would happen if Hadfield were much closer to the surface of our planet, but were the cloth this wet and he were standing on the Earth’s ground, gravity would have the water dripping down from the cloth.
Because of the surface tension of the materials included here and the extremely low gravity present on the ISS, the water stays together – for the most part – even when the cloth wrings it out. You’ll see the “tube of water” promised to you in the title of this article about 2 minutes in to the demonstration video.
The NFB Space School has been launched today as well – this being an online resource for science enthusiasts and everyday learners online. This program appears at the moment to be prepared for students across the world, provided by Canada’s NFB in support of space exploration and the expansion of scientific knowledge in general. Have a peek at SlashGear’s International Space Station tag portal for more news from our high-flying astronaut friends!
[via NFB Space School]