Saturday Morning Science in Space

Saturday Morning Science in Space
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When chemical engineer and NASA astronaut Don Pettit spent six months aboard the International Space Station in 2002–2003, he used his off time productively. Though most of the week was busy with research and maintenance, Saturday mornings were allotted as personal time, and Pettit used the micro-g environment to conduct and document a series of fun experiments for kicks, which he called Saturday Morning Science.

The footage is fascinating, informative, and available for free on YouTube. Using what was available on the ISS (like tea leaves, sodium chloride, and honey), Pettit demonstrates Marangoni convection, nucleate boiling, and gyroscopic platform stability, to name a few. The section on making water spheres is mesmerizing. Pettit even shows that motor-skilled repair work is possible in micro-g by repairing his broken watch.

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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