Flying Carpets in Space: Yes. Folding Laundry: No

Article written: 19 May , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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Astronauts in orbit have said it time and time again: some things are easier in the microgravity environment in space, other things are harder. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, current resident of the International Space Station recently gave a video demonstration of a few odd tasks in space, showing how simple, everyday jobs here on Earth, such as folding laundry and using eye drops, can become difficult in space. But he also proved how one “impossible” action for us landlubbers is fairly simple to do on board the ISS. He soared on a magic carpet.

Wakata filmed 16 different tasks in space as part of a series of zero-gravity challenges submitted by the public.

Albeit, he couldn’t use just any carpet; it had to be magic. Or in this case, a carpet with a little rigidity worked the best, and he had one more secret to his success: adhesive tape (not sure if it was duct tape). Here’s the video clip of posted by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa).

Wakata is shown gliding smoothly, after a fashion, through a cabin of the International Space Station, as if snowboarding.

“I flew on this magic carpet by using adhesive tape so that the soles of my feet stayed on it,” the 45-year-old astronaut said. The tasks were selected from ideas sent to the space agency by hundreds of members of the Japanese public, from nursery school pupils to a 90-year-old man. Wakata performed the tasks in the Japanese laboratory Kibo (Hope) of the ISS on May 15. He also filmed a series of other tasks in April, including push-ups.

He handled the awkward task of folding laundry in microgravity, struggling with a shirt and then, for added difficulty, the floating arms and legs of a blue space overall. Finally, a bungee cord was necessary to keep the uncooperative overall from unfolding.

Tackling another challenge, Wakata showed how to use eye drops in zero gravity, squeezing out a tiny ball of liquid and letting it perch at the tip of the container before carefully bringing it to his eye.

Source: The Telegraph


3 Responses

  1. Dave Finton says

    Despite not understanding a single word that was said, I found that video to be highly entertaining and somewhat informative. =)

  2. Aqua says

    Some fun, eh? Now the real question is: How are the Kibo science program(s) doing? Anything new? Is there a JAXA embargo on info.?

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