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Wringing out water on the ISS - for science!


Uploaded on July 12, 2013

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Wringing out water on the ISS - for science!

2013-04-16 - CSA astronaut Chris Hadfield performed a simple science experiment designed by grade 10 Lockview High School students Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner. The students from Fall River, Nova Scotia won a national science contest held by the Canadian Space Agency with their experiment on surface tension in space using a wet washcloth. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)


Wriging Out Water on the ISS

Chris Hadfield: The question is if you get a cloth dripping wet without gravity and your wring it out, what’s going to happen? What will happen to a wrung out cloth? So, and had to use equipment that was here on board the space station? We may have the coolest washcloths ever here on the space station, I’m going to show you. Here’s one of our washcloths and it’s packed in, it’s put down under this little tiny hockey puck so that it saves space, but when you open up a hockey puck and you pull out your washcloth, this is the one I’m going to use for the experiment today and so when you open up your hockey puck and turn it into the wash cloth that was compressed in a great big vise somewhere, okay, so here’s my wash cloth, like a magic trick and now, I’m going to get this soaking wet and then we’re going to see what will happen when we wring it out.

Meredith and Kendra suggested that I did this in a bag, but bags don’t know water in space. So instead, I’ve filled a water bag. This has drinking water in it and I’m going to squirt a bunch of water into this washcloth. Okay, so here’s a soaking wet washcloth, I’ll get the microphone so you can hear me while I’m talking and now let’s – let’s start wring it out. It’s really wet.

It’s coming to the water. The water is all over my hands. In fact, it wrings out of the cloth into my hands and if I let go of the cloth carefully, the water sort of sticks to my hand. Okay, so the experiment worked beautifully and the answer to the question is the water squeezes out of the cloth and then because of the surface tension of the water, it actually runs along the surface of the cloth and then up into my hand, almost like you had jell-o on your hand or gel on your hand and it will just stay there, a wonderful moisturizer on my hands, and the cloth doesn’t really unravel itself. It just stays there floating, like a dog’s chew toy, soaking wet.

A great experiment, it worked perfectly. Meredith and Kendra, congratulations, great idea.


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