Wringing out water on the ISS

If you have not already seen this video, stop now and watch it. It will answer the question you never knew you needed answered: What happens when you wring out a wet washcloth in space? My nerdly little heart went pitter pat watching this…and of course, my juvenile little brain immediately thought, “Oh, ick, imagine getting a snotty cold on the space station!”


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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8 Responses to Wringing out water on the ISS

  1. Hick Crone says:

    I would like to see a demo with the cloth wrung out like I do, with great vigor and twisting. I think it would fling drops off in all directions. This video shows very gentle squeezing, allowing the water to pool. I’m not convinced that’s the most likely scenario. It’s still mighty neat to see…

    I watch for the ISS every chance I get. I believe my area, Willamette Valley, is in the wrong place for the next little while. In a week or so, I’m guessing it will be visible before sunrise. I prefer the after sunset viewings since it’s hard to get up at 4:30 am.

  2. Carys says:

    Fantastic! It took me a while to get past the microphone floating in front of him, then blob of water coming out of the packet and just hanging there. The wringing wash cloth topped it off. I had no idea it would work like that.

  3. Jorge says:

    Why, thank you very much! Now I can’t shake the image of sicky snot flying all over the place until it gets stuck in the most inconvenient places. I hope you’re happy with what you did. Humpf!


  4. Ana_ñ says:

    Those things are so fun. Did you see the one about crying?

    • oregon expat says:

      I did see this one, and wondered if it was the inspiration for those high school kids’ question about wringing out a washcloth, i.e. “If a couple of drops stick together, what does a whole lot of water do?”

      Surface tension is powerful stuff; much more so than we tend to think. I’ve recently had the experience of trying to tip a very narrow glass tube so that the fluid at its bottom will flow toward the opening, and that tube has to be past horizontal before gravity can overcome the surface tension. (At which point the fluid rushes past the opening, which defeats my purpose. Very frustrating.)

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