We all know that water flows in rivers, stands in lakes, falls from the clouds and sits in the glass on a table in front of us. But what does water do in the weightless environment of Space?
According to astronauts on the space station who have done a number of experiments, human frontiers like space and the deep-sea offer novel experiences to humans where reality seems to be suspended and all of our intuitions are “thrown out the door.”
We are like children again having to learn the rules of this new world from scratch, asking questions we don’t yet know the answers to.
The Physics Of “Astro Puffs”
In the following video, a NASA astronaut and chemist Don Pettit, in his off-duty time, plays with water, which he calls “Astro Puffs”, to see how it reacts in a weightless environment.
In short, there is an absence of forces such as gravity, wind or air pressure and so the water floats in midair while Pettit pokes and prods it with a knitting needle and blows it with air to see how it reacts.
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