Space

May 4, 2012

Dancing droplets rock out on space station


 
Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit of NASA has taught more than half a million internet viewers how microgravity affects scientific principles by using everyday objects on the International Space Station.

In the latest video, Pettit takes his demonstrations to the next level by using sound to oscillate water placed on a speaker and letting the droplets fly.

The investigation is part of “Science off the Sphere,” a video series featuring experiments of Pettit’s own design intended to show scientific possibilities on the frontier of space. NASA and the American Physical Society, or APS, developed a partnership to share the videos with students, educators and science enthusiasts across the globe.

In the short, downloadable videos, Pettit has used knitting needles and water droplets to examine static electricity, demonstrated capillary flow by creating a zero gravity tea cup, used thin water films to experiment with fluid motion, shared infrared imagery of Earth and more. Each video includes a physics challenge question to which the online community is invited to respond.

“The physics community is absolutely loving seeing what’s going on and loving having a different way of looking at concepts they’ve spent their lives studying,” said Becky Thompson-Flagg, head of public outreach at APS.

APS, the professional society for physicists, shares new “Science off the Sphere” videos on its outreach website, Physics Central. In the latest episode, Pettit’s water droplets dance to music by Texas rock band ZZ Top.

“Science off the Sphere” is a successor to Pettit’s science demonstrations performed during his stay on the space station during Expedition 6 in 2002 and 2003 and during the STS-126 space shuttle mission.

Pettit launched to the space station to join the Expedition 30 crew on Dec. 23, 2011, with Russian Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers. The crew will be joined by NASA’s Joseph Acaba and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin as part of Expedition 31, who are scheduled to launch on May 14. Pettit, Kuipers and Kononenko will remain on the station until July.

 

To view Pettit’s science demonstrations performed during his current mission, visit http://www.physicscentral.com/sots.

 

To view Pettit’s science experiments performed during Expedition 6, visit http://go.nasa.gov/spacechronicles.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle

NASA’s Kepler reborn, makes first exoplanet find of new mission

Image courtesy of NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle The artistic concept shows NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft operating in a new mission profile called K2. Using publicly available data, astronomers have confirmed K2&...
 
 
NASA illustration

NASA, planetary scientists find meteoritic evidence of Mars water reservoir

This illustration depicts Martian water reservoirs. Recent research provides evidence for the existence of a third reservoir that is intermediate in isotopic composition between the Red Planetís mantle and its current atmosphe...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin-built MUOS-3 satellite encapsulated in launch vehicle fairing

Lockheed Martin photograph The U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System-3 satellite (above) is encapsulated in its payload fairings for a scheduled Jan. 20, 2015 launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. MUOS ope...
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA’s Orion arrives back at Kennedy

NASA photograph NASA’s Orion spacecraft returned to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Dec. 18, 2014. The spacecraft flew to an altitude of 3,600 miles in space during a Dec. 5 flight test designed to stre...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>