Home Science Space What happens when a wet washcloth is wrung out in space?
Chris Hadfield Chris Hadfield Canadian Space Agency

An experiment submitted by two Canadian high school students to the astronauts on the International Space Station is shown in a video. And, it is quite interesting what actually happens when a hand towel filled with water is wrung out in space.

A washcloth filled with water is squeezed out by astronaut Chris Hadfield VideoFromSpace


Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who was the first Canadian to walk in space, conducted an experiment submitted by Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulker, two high school students from Nova Scotia.

These two students submitted their experiment to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), which then passed it on to the members of the International Space Station, specifically astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Hadfield, who is the commander of the astronauts currently living on the International Space Station (the team of ISS Expedition 35), conducted the experiment, which was quite extraordinary to see as recorded on a video.

On Earth, we all know what happens when you wring out a cloth filled with water: the water exits the cloth and drops into, say, a sink, bathtub, or shower, or onto the floor or ground.

But, in space where the perceived effect of Earth’s gravity is not felt by the astronauts on the International Space Station (gravity is still there, but they can’t feel it because they are essentially in free-fall around the planet), the wringing out of a wash cloth has a quite different result.

When a washcloth is wrung out in space, the water inside the wash cloth is squeezed out into a tube surrounding the cloth. See it! It is quite amazing!

Watch the video, above, as seen you the YouTube video “Wet Washcloth In Space - What Happens When You Wring It?” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMtXfwk7PXg)

Published on Apr 17, 2013, the video caption states, “International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield soaks a washcloth, gives it a twist, and...well, you'll see.”


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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University