Astronaut Don Pettit is a national treasure. He's been to space three times—once for a six-month stay on the ISS. On every mission, he's found time to make huge contributions to the public communication of science, including making a series of amazing "Science Saturday" videos and inventing (from spare parts he found lying around the ISS) a system to help the space station take clearer, sharper pictures of the Earth at night.
Pettit went to space with an international crew in December 2011 and is currently in space. This new video—where he demonstrates the way a small electric charge can manipulate the behavior of water droplets in microgravity—is a great addition to his oeuvre!
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- Invention of the space-coffee-cup
- Saturday Morning Science Experiment: Gravity Is For Suckers
- Saturday Morning Science Experiment: Gyroscopes in space
- HOWTO Drink Coffee in Space (video demo)
- Astronaut in Antarctica to conduct fun experiments for the public
- Soap bubbles in space: cool online experiment logs from the ISS
- Astronaut describes what space smells like
- Five questions with astronaut Rex Walheim
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.