Broadcasting from the International Space Station, Canadian Space Agency Chris Hadfield continues to serve as a font of information regarding some of the little known aspects of life in space. However, a new piece of information delivered by Hadfield was actually inspired by a group of students here on Earth.
The Canadian spacefarer took to YouTube this week to reveal what it looks like when you wring out a common washcloth in space. It sounds like a fairly pedestrian demonstration, but this simple act is something that we only take for granted because of Earth's gravity. In zero gravity, things are much different. Hadfield starts the demonstration by taking a vacuum-packed NASA washcloth from a special case (yes, we want one, too), and then uses a water bottle to soak the washcloth with water.
And this is when the weirdness starts. When Hadfield wrings out the washcloth, some of the water hovers, halo-like, around the washcloth like a force field, while the rest of the water travels up his arm, much a like a malevolent space parasite might as it prepares to eat your astronaut brain. The simple yet revealing experiment suggestion was the grand prize won by a group of 10th grade Canadian students during a recent national science contest.
You can check out the experiment in action in the video below.