Chris Hadfield performs winning experiment for N.S. students
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2013 7:12PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 16, 2013 7:26PM ADT
What happens when you soak a washcloth in water and wring it out? The question is easily answered here on Earth, but what about in space?
Students at Lockview High School in Fall River, N.S. learned the answer firsthand today as astronaut Chris Hadfield performed the experiment from the International Space Station.
Last fall, the Canadian Space Agency asked young Canadians to design a simple science experiment that Hadfield could perform in space, using items already available onboard the ISS.
Assisted by their science teacher, Grade 10 students Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner submitted their experiment idea, “Ring it Out,” to the Canadian Space Agency.
Astronaut David Saint-Jacques says he was impressed by the students’ submission.
“It’s really interesting and useful from an engineering perspective to know these things, because if you want to live on board a spacecraft, there are a lot of little things you have to deal with,” says Saint-Jacques, who also attended the event at Lockview.
Nearly 100 entries from across the country were submitted and a panel of judges deemed Lemke and Faulkner’s experiment the winner.
The prize? A live chat with Hadfield from the ISS.
“He’s a really cool guy,” says Faulkner. “It’s neat that he’s representing Canada. I couldn’t think of anyone who could do it better.”
“I’m really proud,” says Lemke. “I never thought that a simple idea like that could be chosen, but the more I think about it, the more complex it is.”
Hadfield also performed the experiment, which demonstrated that, in the absence of gravity, water actually remains on a soaked washcloth when wrung out in space.
“This is what it’s all about,” says teacher John Munro. “Kendra and Meredith made their experiment and got to see it in outer space. There’s nothing better than that. That’s exactly what we tried to do here.”
Hadfield has conducted over 130 international and Canadian science experiments with his ISS crewmates and became the first Canadian to command the ISS on March 13.
He is scheduled to land on May 13, after having spent 146 days in space.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Felicia Yap