Apologia- Astronomy

A Simulation of Working in Zero-Gravity

Working in Zero Gravity

Working in Zero Gravity

This post explores what it might be like Working in Zero-Gravity conditions.

Introduction to Working in Zero-Gravity

On earth we are used to working with a gravitational force which keeps us centred and steady.  It also makes for fairly predictable results when carrying out every day activities.  Up in space is a different matter all together because there is no gravity.  Working in Zero-Gravity means that astronauts do not have anything to push against.  For example, if an astronaut pushes on something (a handle or a door).  Instead of the push yielding predictable results (the handle moves down, the door opens), the astronaut finds himself floating upwards in the opposite direction!  And a space suits exacerbates this situation.  The astronaut needs to work with bulky material covering his whole body, making simple tasks harder than on earth.

Working in Zero-Gravity

The following activity demonstrates what it might be like inside a spacesuit Working in Zero-Gravity.

Gather together some lidded test-tubes (or small jars – baby food jars would work) and a pair of washing up gloves.  Fill a fish tank (or similar) with water:

Working in Zero-Gravity

First try screwing on and off the lids as normal.  Then try again with the washing up gloves on.  This simulates the difficulty of working with a spacesuit on.  Next try to screw and unscrew the lids underneath the water.  This is much harder and simulates what it might be like to work in a spacesuit outside a spacecraft in zero-gravity:

Working in Zero-Gravity

You can make this activity even harder by using nuts and bolts, or syringes from medicine bottles (fill syringe)

We have been using Apologia: Astronomy for our main text for our unit study.  For more space and astronomy related posts click on the pictures below.  I will be adding to these as and when I can:

3 comments on “A Simulation of Working in Zero-Gravity

  1. What a fun activity idea! We have been reading book on space travel and I want to take the boys to see the new First Man movie one day soon. This would tie in nicely with that! Pinned.

  2. Great activity and so simple!

  3. Oooohhhhh, I LOVE this!

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