Astronaut Don Pettit Shares Passion for Science From Space
HOUSTON, Feb. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA and the American Physical Society (APS) have begun a partnership to share videos from the International Space Station with students, educators and science fans around the world. NASA astronaut Don Pettit, currently on the orbiting outpost as a member of the Expedition 30 crew, will use everyday objects from Earth to demonstrate physics through “Science off the Sphere” presentations.
Space fans know Pettit from his previous science demonstrations performed in space, such as the “Zero G Coffee Cup” from the space shuttle’s STS-126 mission in 2008. This time he has added a physics challenge for viewers. Some episodes of “Science off the Sphere” will end with a question. APS will review the responses and identify a winner. Pettit will announce the winner from aboard the station.
APS, the professional society for physicists, plans to ignite interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by sharing the “Science off the Sphere” videos on its outreach website, Physics Central. The website also will feature the physics challenges and educational content on topics Pettit demonstrates.
Pettit spent more than five and half months on board the station during Expedition 6 in 2002 and 2003. He returned to space during STS-126. Most recently, Pettit launched to the orbiting laboratory Dec. 23 with Russian Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers. The crew joined Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank of NASA and Russian Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, who have been on the station since Nov. 16.
Pettit, Kononenko and Kuipers will remain on the station until May as members of the Expedition 31 crew. The crew members will support dozens of experiments during their time aboard the station.
To view Pettit’s science experiments performed during Expedition 6, visit:
To view Pettit’s “Zero G Coffee Cup” video from STS-126, visit:
For more information about the International Space Station and its crew, visit:
To view APS’ Physics Central website, visit