spaceSpace and Physics

Astronauts Submerge a GoPro Inside a Floating Ball of Water On The ISS

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Laura Suen

Guest Author

GoPro in water by Steve Swanson, Reid Wiseman, and Alexander Gerst. Screen capture from YouTube.

Curious about the behavior of water surface tension in microgravity, three astronauts aboard the International Space Station decided to stick a GoPro camera inside a floating ball of water. They also filmed the event using a 3D camera.

The men—Steve Swanson, Reid Wiseman, and Alexander Gerst—captured the videos sometime during summer 2014 as part of Expedition 40.


In space, liquids naturally take on a spherical shape because they're in free fall. Therefore, gravity doesn't affect them like on Earth and rather it's surface tension that shapes them. Hydrogen bonding between water molecules naturally pulls them together, resulting in a spherical configuration that minimizes surface area.

The videos captured by the astronauts can be seen in 2D and 3D below. You'll need 3D glasses to view the latter video properly though.





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