Zero-G experiments will make some pretty pictures

Does a yo-yo work in zero-g? How about a paper airplane? These questions were answered in 1985 on the Space Shuttle Discovery, but reproduction of results is the cornerstone of the scientific method. [Rob] is about to reproduce some of the awesome zero-g pictures by riding on a vomit comet and taking a few pictures of water globes colliding.

For the last few months, [Rob] has had a standby ticket on the G-Force One, a plane that takes passengers on parabolic arcs to simulate microgravity. He was lucky as his standby ticket allowed him to take a few experiments on board, so [Rob] decided there’s just not enough awesome pictures of water colliding in zero-g.

He built a rig out of micro t-slot aluminum. A DSLR is mounted to the frame along with a few ‘test tubes’ containing water. When [Rob] blows through a tube, a small sphere of water will be released to collide with other object. Think of it as the nerd’s version of water splash photography.

Of course, a trip through zero-g wouldn’t be complete without a few more experiments. [Rob] plans on testing a few toys to see if yo-yos ‘sleep’ without gravity (they don’t), and if a grandfather clock works on the moon (there’s a month-long day, so kind of). We can’t wait to see [Rob]’s pictures once he comes back to Earth.

4 thoughts on “Zero-G experiments will make some pretty pictures

    1. They not only work, but they are an optimal solution since they won’t randomly float around and get in the camera view. They also make it much easier to manipulate both the baby soda bottle and the rubber stopper with one hand.

  1. I’m the builder of the above rig. WRT whether a YoYo will sleep in Zero-G, while a standard YoYo won’t, AFAIK the new auto-sleeping YoYo’s (they have a bearing on the central shaft) have never been tested.

    In any case, the YoYo doubles as a pendulum, so I get to kill two birds with one stone.

    And I’ll be doing Diet Coke & Mentos in ZeroG if all goes well :)

    I have a lot of high-speed videos (and some from my previous ZeroG flight) on my youtube channel,

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