Skip

Space Station Reboost
November 10, 2011 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Physics! (SLYT via)
posted by curious nu (38 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
PHYSICS! Also, Woh. Woh-hoho. Wooooooooh.
posted by psylosyren at 3:50 PM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love physics! Thanks for this, very cool!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 3:51 PM on November 10, 2011


Thanks for reminding me how much I want to be in space = /.
posted by Buckt at 3:55 PM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Don't pander to me, kid. One tiny crack in the hull and our blood boils in thirteen seconds. Solar flare might crop up, cook us in our seats. And wait till you're sitting pretty with a case of Andorian shingles -- see if you're so relaxed when your eyeballs are bleeding. Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:57 PM on November 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


wow.
posted by The Whelk at 4:00 PM on November 10, 2011


It was all fun and games until they fell out of the door they forgot to close tightly... safety first, guys!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:02 PM on November 10, 2011


I love this. But it's a sad reflection of our culture that our astronauts who spend months at a time in orbit still where khakis and polo shirts. Get those men some some *real* space uniforms, stat.
posted by auto-correct at 4:02 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's why the ISS has walls. It's for the No Astronaut Left Behind program.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:08 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The *real* experiment they're doing up there is: "Does being in space ever stop being awesome?"

Method: Take a bunch of nerds. Dress them in khaki. Put 'em in space.

Results: No. Being in space does not ever stop being awesome.
posted by Jofus at 4:20 PM on November 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


Results: No. Being in space does not ever stop being awesome

Well, until the hellish Space Devourers from the Dark Side of the Sun come and hollow out your body as part of their bid to Conquer the Earth!

OK, that is awesome, just not so much for you.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:34 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


For that to be a true experiment, you'd need a bunch of nerds dressed in khaki and polo shirts who *weren't* in sp....oh, right.
posted by uosuaq at 4:36 PM on November 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Dumb question: is it possible to propel yourself (albeit very slowly) by "swimming" or kicking in zero gravity or is reaction with objects or sources of thrust the only way?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:38 PM on November 10, 2011


Yeah Science!
posted by Think_Long at 4:38 PM on November 10, 2011


The laws of physics apply not only to astronauts on a space station, but also to occupants of any vehicle that's accelerating. A car/train/plane accelerating forward tries to leave you behind. Imagine standing on a skateboard in a subway car as it leaves the station. You'd find yourself rolling back to the rear of the car. Same thing.
posted by exphysicist345 at 4:49 PM on November 10, 2011


Dumb question: is it possible to propel yourself (albeit very slowly) by "swimming" or kicking in zero gravity or is reaction with objects or sources of thrust the only way?

I suppose as long as there's oxygen, etc in the spacecraft, mathematically, yes... practically, no.
posted by nathancaswell at 4:59 PM on November 10, 2011


is it possible to propel yourself (albeit very slowly) by "swimming" or kicking in zero gravity

You're better off gulping in great big lungfuls of air and blowing it out to produce thrust.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:02 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Satoshi Furukawa acts surprised, but you can tell he's totally underwhelmed.
posted by joelf at 5:11 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


What are those guys from Best Buy doing up there?
posted by moshjosh at 5:12 PM on November 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Dumb question: is it possible to propel yourself (albeit very slowly) by "swimming" or kicking in zero gravity or is reaction with objects or sources of thrust the only way?
Depends on the density of the air around you.
posted by delmoi at 5:18 PM on November 10, 2011


Dying in space is real easy: One fuck-up, PSSSSSSSS! You're gas, spread over a thousand miles of stratosphere. Jesus, man, think of the view!
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:24 PM on November 10, 2011


Neat, but these guys got nothing on Bob Hoover, who can pour iced tea while doing a barrel roll.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:31 PM on November 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Also, spaaaaaace!
posted by schmod at 5:48 PM on November 10, 2011


So, since nobody's commented on it here, yet. My limited understanding of why this is so amazing is due to Einstein's realization that accelerated motion and gravity are the same sort of effect.

I might be wrong in the sense that maybe they aren't accelerating at "relativistic speeds" but I think the observation holds true regardless.

For instance - observe the image to the right of this section of the General Relativity article... It shows a person in a falling elevator, which is the same sort of effect as gravity (and in this case, an accelerating shuttle acts in the same way as a falling elevator).

I'm too... buzzed... right now to think about this further, but it's an interesting thing to reflect upon, and there's a shit-ton of learnin' to be had here, and so I think the exclamation of "physics" really does show how deep and astounding this is besides what seems like an obvious, everyday perception of the world.
posted by symbioid at 6:38 PM on November 10, 2011


Yeah, it's basically artificial gravity. They're 'falling' away from the camera, albeit very slowly. It must feel incredibly weird. With a little more acceleration, they could just stand up at the end of the hallway.
posted by empath at 6:45 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


is it possible to propel yourself (albeit very slowly) by "swimming" or kicking in zero gravity or is reaction with objects or sources of thrust the only way?

False dichotomy. Air molecules are objects.
posted by flabdablet at 7:03 PM on November 10, 2011


> False dichotomy. Air molecules are objects.

Er, I don't know if you're joking but not enough to provide any resistance for motion.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:19 PM on November 10, 2011


Why can't they take up a huge balloon, say about the size of a football field, inflate it with air and have just a huge fun playground?
posted by sammyo at 8:06 PM on November 10, 2011


> Er, I don't know if you're joking but not enough to provide any resistance for motion.

The existence of parachutes and propellers suggests otherwise.
posted by alexei at 8:11 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm talking about arms and legs.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:17 PM on November 10, 2011


Arms and legs are inefficient propellers, that is true. But any set of motions that will shift you through water should also eventually shift you through air if you're floating in zero G. The only reason for this is that your body is interacting with air molecules, which are undoubtedly objects. So there is in fact no difference between propelling yourself (albeit very slowly) by "swimming" or kicking and reaction with objects or sources of thrust, which was my point.

"Swimming" or kicking if floating in a vacuum would of course be completely futile.
posted by flabdablet at 9:50 PM on November 10, 2011


Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.

So basically, a rumaki of death.
posted by benzenedream at 11:25 PM on November 10, 2011


Dumb question: is it possible to propel yourself (albeit very slowly) by "swimming" or kicking in zero gravity or is reaction with objects or sources of thrust the only way?

You might be able to propel yourself if you had one of those space burritos for dinner.....
posted by mach at 12:39 AM on November 11, 2011


Imagine standing on a skateboard in a subway car as it leaves the station. You'd find yourself rolling back to the rear of the car.

Yeah, but will the skateboard take off, or not?
posted by The Bellman at 6:39 AM on November 11, 2011


I'd would be interesting to hear someone who's been in zero G talk about being able to propel simply by flailing/swimming but I'm thinking that mostly it will just result in the person rotating in place.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:44 AM on November 11, 2011


> Why can't they take up a huge balloon, say about the size of a football field, inflate it with air and have just a huge fun playground?

This is what I'm desperately looking forward to when we have materials strong enough to build an arena at the top of a space elevator. Strap on some ankle wings and play space ball!
posted by lucidium at 6:47 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Snark all you want about polos and khakis. Those velcro covered cargo pants are the business. Does anybody make them outside of NASA?
posted by quite unimportant at 9:20 AM on November 11, 2011


Problem with swimming in air under microgravity, your balance isn't going to be good enough to prevent more of your effort from going into spin than getting somewhere. This may change if you wear something to drastically increase the surface area of your arms, as with sufficient grasp of the air, you'll feel the balance and be able to compensate...I think.
posted by Goofyy at 4:40 AM on November 12, 2011


Seems to me that visual feedback should be enough for that.

Clearly the only way to settle this issue definitively is to ask somebody who has been in the right conditions for long enough to try this stuff out.
posted by flabdablet at 5:42 AM on November 12, 2011


« Older Words of the last 100 years   |   The Great War Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post