The Strange Way Fluids Slosh on the International Space Station

Jan. 30, 2015: The next time you pour yourself a glass of water, pause before you drink it. First, swirl the clear liquid around the glass. Gently slosh it back and forth. Tap the glass on the tabletop, and watch the patterns that form on the surface.

Now imagine the same exercise … in zero gravity. Would the waves and ripples look the same? Would the liquid slosh more, or less? Faster, or slower?

NASA engineers spend a surprising amount of time asking themselves these same questions.


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