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Drop hammers and feathers on the Moon: 1 of 5 weirdest experiments humans have ever performed in space

A space suit was thrown out of the ISS station

The test video below plays out exactly like the scene from a nightmare. A space suit flew out of the ISS Space Station, before floating indefinitely in the dark space of the universe.

The experiment throws the space suit out of the ISS station

However, you can breathe a sigh of relief to learn that no astronauts have died during this experiment. In fact, there’s only one radio transmitter and a bunch of old clothes stuffed inside the Russian Orlan space suit, nicknamed Ivan Ivanovitch or Mr Smith.

Accordingly, some scientists have come up with the idea of ​​taking advantage of old space suits to make miniature satellites capable of transmitting signals. These are called SuitSat (a combination of the word Suit – suit and satellite – satellite).

On February 3, 2006, Suitsat 1, also known as AMSAT-OSCAR 54, was launched into space for testing. However, this test quickly failed, when NASA assumed that the radio transmitter inside the suit stopped working as soon as it was launched from the ISS station. As a result, SuitSat-1 was floating indefinitely in Earth’s orbit for several months, before crashing into the atmosphere and burning on September 7, 2006.

Experiment to drop hammer and feathers on the Moon

In the late 16th century, Galileo Galilei released two spheres of unequal mass from the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. As a result, both spheres touched the ground at the same time. After this experiment, Galileo confirmed that mass does not affect gravitational acceleration, thereby refuting long-standing ideas.

Accordingly, all objects, regardless of mass, must fall at the same speed. On Earth, however, this argument by Galileo is difficult to prove due to the existence of air resistance. It wasn’t until nearly 400 years later that an astronaut while standing on the Moon repeated Galileo’s experiments to verify it.

Experiment to drop hammer and feathers on the Moon

On August 2, 1971, Apollo 15 Commander David Scott dropped a hammer and a falcon feather from a height of 1.6 meters onto the surface of the Moon. As a result, in a vacuum, where there is no air resistance, both objects touched the ground at the same time. This experiment showed that Galileo’s conclusions were completely correct.

Spiders on the ISS station

In 2011, scientists searched for answers to the painful question: Can spiders adapt to space travel?

They sent two golden silk spiders (Trichonephila clavipes), Esmeralda and Gladys, for a 45-day tour of the ISS. They are housed in an ideal habitat, with lighting conditions mimicking the day-night cycle, controlled temperature and humidity, and a healthy diet comprising juicy fruit flies.

Experiment on raising spiders on ISS station

Both spiders are wonderfully adaptable, constantly spinning and hunting. They eat their silk at the end of each day to regain their protein, then spin it again in the morning – just like spiders on the ground.

But not everything is completely normal. In microgravity, the webs they weave are flatter and more rounded, different from those on the ground, which have an asymmetrical shape.

The two spiders have returned to Earth after finishing their time in space. They live a normal life like other spiders, before dying… in old age!

Bring seeds to space

When the Apollo 14 mission was launched on January 31, 1971, this spacecraft carried a rather strange item: about 500 seeds.

Accordingly, scientists from the US Department of Forestry want to know whether these seeds can germinate, grow in a zero-gravity environment, as well as constantly under the impact of space radiation or not. They are housed in the command module of Apollo 14, making about 34 orbits of the Moon before being brought back to Earth.

Then, seeds planted in parallel with ordinary seeds have not yet been released into space. As a result, most of these seeds germinate normally and develop into saplings. This shows that there is no difference between the “cosmic seed” and the seed on Earth.

By 1975, the trees of the Moon – trees formed from cosmic seeds – were big enough for transplant. They are shipped throughout the United States. It is estimated that a total of 100 lunar trees were planted. Up to now, there are about 57 trees still alive.

Experiment with frozen sperm of mice on the ISS International Space Station.

Specifically, the astronauts brought frozen sperm of 12 rats into space at ISS Station, which is assessed to have a radiation level 100 times higher than on Earth.

First, these sperm were placed in a freezer at a low temperature of -95 degrees Celsius. After 9 months, the sperm samples were brought back to Earth and compared with mouse sperm. The results showed that dry sperm frozen under radiation was more fragmented with DNA, but when it was transplanted into “surrogate” female mice, it gave birth to more offspring. 73 individuals, outperforming normal mouse sperm.

Refer to Science Alert

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