Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
120

I believe it was John Young, during an Apollo 16 EVA fell to the lunar surface. Though awkward, he got up unassisted by attempting a series of what looks like push-ups until he was able to get himself to his knees. Then he had little difficulty standing up from resting on his knees. This YouTube clip shows how he did it. Apollo 16 astronaut falls and ...


74

Objects in orbit are attracted to each other, it's just their mass is small enough that the force of gravity between them is infinitesimal. Gravitational acceleration is dependent on mass and distance. In a scenario where a 150 kg astronaut is 10 m from a 80,000 kg Space Shuttle, the astronaut would be pulled toward the Shuttle at 5.336e-8 m/second squared. ...


53

As always, the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal is a treasure trove of annotated examples. During the later (J) missions in particular, Ed Fendell, remotely operating the rover's TV camera, managed to capture a few for posterity. Falling forward (straight or a bit to one side) happened to several moon walkers, and getting up was not that difficult. Only Charlie ...


51

The reason the Space Station is called a micro-g environment rather than a zero g environment is because the Space Station is rotating, because it's in low Earth orbit, and because it's big (for a spacecraft). The Space Station nominally rotates at the orbital rate so as to keep the nadir-pointing windows pointing downward. This alone means an accelerometer ...


36

This description of the Apollo 7 mission from NASA contains a more detailed description: Mucus accumulates, fills the nasal passages and does not drain from the head. The only relief is to blow hard, which is painful to the ear drums. So the crew of Apollo 7 whirled through space suffering from stopped-up ears and noses. They took aspirin and decongestant ...


30

Despite Charlie Duke's concern about it, given that the PLSS is massive, and would shift an astronaut's center of gravity far back from their natural distribution, it would be surprising if the designers hadn't anticipated the possibility of a fall. This view of the PLSS shows that the back side of the backpack is almost a single unbroken shell: ...


26

A haircut is done with an electric trimmer which has a vacuum hose attached. Wet shaving avoids this by trapping the cuttings in shaving foam, but some astronauts use electric razors, again with a vacuum hose. Here's a video of someone using an electric trimmer: Shaving in space


25

Although this has indeed "worked to bits" on the Physics and other SE sites it's worth looking at, for the sake of Space Exploration, the interesting history behind the analysis of the falling cat. For the fully rigorous description of the cat's righting reflex - perfectly in keeping with conservation of angular momentum - only came about because it was ...


25

Those are the Ascent Checklist and the Ascent/Entry Systems Procedures (AESP) book. These are used by the back-seater Mission Specialists (MSs) and contain copies of the cue cards and flip-books used by the front-seater commander and pilot. The MSs follow along in the checklists and back up the front seaters. The Ascent Checklist contains the nominal and ...


24

The cake will "rise" for the same reasons it does in gravity (yeast or other agents releasing gases as a metabolic byproduct, when heated, or as a chemical process and reacting to other ingredients, given sufficient time and providing for other required conditions to activate the rising agent). The only problem is, it will "rise" equally in all directions in ...


23

This video published on YouTube on Zero-G: "Movement in Microgravity: Skylab to Space Shuttle" 1988 NASA Weightlessness Footage, starting at 2:10 into it, shows a Skylab astronaut doing a front roll and a spiral roll in the Skylab Orbital Workshop without touching anything to push against to change his orientation. And the same video from 5:45 to 6:00 shows ...


23

The two most commonly used techniques for humans are neutral buoyancy and parabolic flights. Neutral Buyoancy Neutral buoyancy simulates the weightless environment of space. First equipment is lowered into the pool using an overhead crane. Suited astronauts then get in the tank and support divers add weight to the astronauts so that they experience no ...


19

As Organic Marble points out, yes the US space program had G meters. They're likely to include these in future manned missions, as well. As for the true purpose of the toys: To humans, any sudden reduction in acceleration feels like falling. When the engines cut off, they are aware that there is less thrust, but the human body isn't great at telling you, ...


18

Like many dehydrated space foods, it's prepared by injecting hot water through a port in an otherwise sealed bag, manually mixing it by massaging the bag, and waiting a few minutes; the noodles are thinner than typical instant noodles so that moderately hot (instead of boiling) water can soften them. As for eating it without spilling, the secret seems to be ...


16

So far the studies that have been performed in orbit have shown that plants grow perfectly normal (shoots up, roots down--so to speak) in microgravity. They also produce healthy offspring which can grow new plants in orbit. Experiments have been performed on Arabidopsis and other Brassicaceae. Aboard the ISS a special “plant growth chamber” called Advanced ...


16

Consider this equation for gravitational attraction between two bodies: $$F = G \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}$$ where: $F$ is the force between the masses; $G$ is the gravitational constant (6.674×10−11 N · (m/kg)2); $m1$ is the first mass; $m2$ is the second mass; $r$ is the distance between the centers of the masses. So if we say that an ...


15

There have been several experiments with fish in space; as far as I can tell, all have used water rather than humid air as the habitat. While there is no definitive answer available as of 2013 (lack of empirical research), present research suggests fish cannot really live in space without water. It appears difficult to keep fish alive and healthy in a ...


15

Problem with what you propose, a kind of harpoon with probably a soft-tipped and magnetic head tethered projectile so it doesn't damage / penetrate the station's hull yet still holds onto it once it would reach it, is that the shooting of a kinetic projectile in one direction would propel you with equal force in the opposite direction since there's nothing ...


15

It's an Epson Stylus Color 800 - a pretty standard inkjet printer (a laser printer would be a nightmare - all that fine toner dust!) Here's an example of an Earthly one from a 1998 page of the Washington Apple Pi Journal: The ink cartridges don't care about gravity - they work by capillary attraction from a storage sponge in the cartridge, and then ...


15

What if you just carried a couple of uninflated balloons with you? If you ever get stuck, just inflate the balloon, and then hold it near your center of mass, aim it away from you, and let the air out. Repeat until you make it to the wall. The nice thing is that an uninflated balloon is light enough that you could even have a couple of spares.


14

Has anyone ever attempted/discussed bringing a bird onto one of those zero gravity flights or even brought one to the ISS? Not ISS. Mir and Salyut. There was a long sequence of experiments on Japanese Quails on Salyut-6 and Mir stations. It is described in a lot of details in the very dramatic Birds in Space II: Quails in the Cosmos story. Also a video ...


14

There are two methods which are used: Aircraft can fly on a trajectory that will simulate zero gravity for a few seconds, usually around 30. This is used for most short term zero gravity tests. It is commonly known as the "vomit comet", especially the earlier versions. Underwater testing can be done, in a neutral buoyancy lab. Basically, you make it so you ...


14

I found a real world test of this. Dan Barry tried it when STS-96 was docked to the ISS. I've scanned his account from the book "Space Shuttle: the first 20 years." tl;dr - he escaped by throwing his clothes.


13

There's a bunch of videos online with a demo of drinking. Specifically for coffee you can watch that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk7LcugO3zg According to this post, he uses a special cup that has a specific shape and surface tension. During STS-126 last November, mission specialist Don Pettit devised a cup that took advantage of its special ...


13

No the blast clearing technique would not work, it requires gravity and the closed environment filled with one substance (water) of the snorkel to work. Neither are present in Luca's situation. Tidalwave's Video links in his comment, indicate that attempts to blow or shake the water away were counter productive, resulting in water entering Luca's ears ...


12

Space motion sickness: incidence, etiology, and countermeasures (Martina Heer, William Paloski. Autonomic Neuroscience Vol.129, no.1-2, 2006. Pp. 77-79): Space motion sickness is experienced by 60% to 80% of space travelers during their first 2 to 3 days in microgravity and by a similar proportion during their first few days after return to Earth. Since $...


12

For pretty precise measurement you use linear acceleration of the body with fixed force (say, spring pulled until its force reaches nominal value) and then you measure its speed when launched. Kinetic energy $ E={{1}\over{2}}mv^2 $ will be equal to potential energy of the "launcher" (which can be easily calibrated by launching an object of known mass and ...


12

On the International Space Station, crewmembers regularly exercise to help maintain their muscle/bone mass. A number of scientific studies have been done (here's one) on the effectiveness of their exercise regimen, and it appears that even with their rather modest amount of exercise (5 hr/wk), the decrease in muscle mass is slight and more of a muscle ...


12

Historically cups have not been used. For spaceflight, liquids have been stored in sealed bag-like containers and then drunk through a tube. These are somewhat similar to how many children's drinks are packaged and stored. This document shows some pictures of these sorts of containers and some food containers. As another answer has said, there have been ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible