April 19, 2013
Canadian Science Challenge Asks What Happens When You Wring Out Water In Space?
WATCH VIDEO: [Wringing Out Water On The ISS -- For Science]
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) performed a science experiment to look into the effects of weightlessness on washcloths being wrung out.
Commander Chris Hadfield performed the experiment live on the orbiting laboratory. The experiment was designed by two 10th grade students from Lockview High School in Fall River, Nova Scotia.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) asked students to design a simple experiment that astronauts could perform in space using items already available on the station. The 10th grade students, assisted by their science teacher John Munro, tried to imagine how a microgravity environment would influence water being wrung out of a soaked washcloth.
The team's hypothesis that the water would not drip in microgravity but would remain on the washcloth was proven correct. With the absence of gravity to pull the water down, Commander Hadfield was unable to shake or squeeze out the washcloth to release the water.
"The space station is an orbiting laboratory where we work on unique experiments that may eventually improve life on Earth," Hadfield said, adding that he was extremely proud to be performing an experiment designed by young Canadians.
"I was about your age when I decided I wanted to become an astronaut. I hope that you remember today and continue to be curious about science and space. You are the space explorers of the future and the sky is no longer the limit," he expressed, in a CSA statement.
The contest ran from September 14 to December 31, 2012, and nearly 100 experiments from across Canada were submitted. A CSA panel of judges selected "Ring it out" as the winning school experiment.
"The Canadian Science Challenge was a great tool to teach about space, science and weightlessness in my class. In addition, having this opportunity to speak live to Commander Hadfield from space was a special treat the students will remember for a long time and may influence their future career paths," Munro said.
Hadfield lifted off towards the ISS aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on December 19, 2012. He became the first Canadian to command the ISS on March 13, 2013. The commander will be leaving his reigns at the orbiting laboratory on May 13 after spending 146 days in space.