NASA News - Dancing Droplets Rock Out On Space Station

HOUSTON -- Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit of NASA has taught
more than half a million internet viewers how microgravity affects
scientific principles by using everyday objects on the International
Space Station. In the latest video, Pettit takes his demonstrations
to the next level by using sound to oscillate water placed on a
speaker and letting the droplets fly.

The investigation is part of "Science off the Sphere," a video series
featuring experiments of Pettit's own design intended to show
scientific possibilities on the frontier of space. NASA and the
American Physical Society, or APS, developed a partnership to share
the videos with students, educators and science enthusiasts across the globe.

In the short, downloadable videos, Pettit has used knitting needles
and water droplets to examine static electricity, demonstrated
capillary flow by creating a zero gravity tea cup, used thin water
films to experiment with fluid motion, shared infrared imagery of
Earth and more. Each video includes a physics challenge question to
which the online community is invited to respond.

"The physics community is absolutely loving seeing what's going on and
loving having a different way of looking at concepts they've spent
their lives studying," said Becky Thompson-Flagg, head of public
outreach at APS.

APS, the professional society for physicists, shares new "Science off
the Sphere" videos on its outreach website, Physics Central. In the
latest episode, Pettit's water droplets dance to music by Texas rock
band ZZ Top. Video of the demonstration will air in the video file on
NASA Television at 12 p.m. CDT today.

"Science off the Sphere" is a successor to Pettit's science
demonstrations performed during his stay on the space station during
Expedition 6 in 2002 and 2003 and during the STS-126 space shuttle mission.

Pettit launched to the space station to join the Expedition 30 crew on
Dec. 23, 2011, with Russian Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko and
European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers. The crew will be
joined by NASA's Joseph Acaba and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka
and Sergei Revin as part of Expedition 31, who are scheduled to
launch on May 14. Pettit, Kuipers and Kononenko will remain on the
station until July.

To view Pettit's science demonstrations performed during his current
mission, visit:


To view Pettit's science experiments performed during Expedition 6, visit:


For information about the International Space Station and its crew, visit:


For NASA TV downlink, schedule updates and streaming video
information, visit:



NASA Issues Statement on New SpaceX Launch Date

WASHINGTON -- In response to today's SpaceX announcement finalizing a
new target date for the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon
spacecraft, NASA issued the following statement from William
Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Human Exploration and
Operations at the agency's Headquarters in Washington:

"After additional reviews and discussions between the SpaceX and NASA
teams, we are in a position to proceed toward this important launch.
The teamwork provided by these teams is phenomenal. There are a few
remaining open items but we are ready to support SpaceX for its new
launch date of May 19."

For more information on the flight, visit:


For more information on the International Space Station, visit:


For NASA TV streaming video, scheduling and downlink information, visit:



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