Microgravity complicates everything. Much of our sense of “how things work” is influenced by gravity. Don Pettit uses a soldering iron to boil water, and we see how it both is and isn’t different from a pot and stove on Earth.
A bright street lamp can ruin a night of stargazing, saturating your retinas with light and washing out the comparatively faint glow of constellations and meteors. Here's a handy hack you can use the next time you need to put one temporarily (and reversibly) out of business, courtesy of NASA astronaut Don Pettit.
Stop what you're doing, set aside three minutes of your time and watch this. This newly released compilation of footage captured by astronauts aboard ISS missions 29, 30 and 31 is simply outstanding.
Astronaut Don Pettit personifies one of the zucchini plants aboard the International Space Station in his series "Diary of a Space Zucchini." Now New Hampshire Public Radio has given that zucchini and its existential reflections a voice.
In his down time, NASA astronaut Don Pettit likes to practice his yo-yo skills. In space. Commencing child-like wonderment in 3... 2... 1...
There are some moments when you think that Don Pettit has lost his damn mind, in the coolest way possible. One of those moments is in this video, in which he turns himself into a floating disembodied head. And he does it, using just some water and the International Space Station.
See Don Pettit play with LEGOs! See him make sparks! See him make a block of styrofoam orbit a Van de Graaff generator like a little square planet! See it — and remember for the billionth time why nerds in space are awesome.
Every day we get more evidence that astronauts are giant nerds. Today you can listen to them ooh and ahh over a basic cornstarch and water experiment, and discuss how it might lead to their destruction at the hands of robot overlords.
Our planet looks very different, when viewed in infrared light from space. Astronaut Don Pettit shoots footage of huge swathes of our planet from the International Space Station — first using a regular camera, and then using a camera that films in infrared. Take a look at glowing red forests and strangely blue lakes.
Astronaut Don Pettit (previously: 1, 2, 3) loves performing intriguing experiments using the microgravity of the International Space Station. For his most recent video, Pettit visualized the sound waves of ZZ Top's "TV Dinners" using several blobs of water and a speaker. Now I sort of want a television series in…
Take a look at the International Space Station, where Don Pettit constructs what can only be called Russian Nesting Bubbles - a series of thick-rimmed bubbles inside other bubbles, all of which center themselves.
How can astronauts drink in space? If your answer is, 'through a straw so drops don't fly off and damage the instruments around them,' then Don Pettit has proven that you're a fool. Check out how astronauts can enjoy drinks from an open container like civilized ground-people.
Ever wonder what planets would look like orbiting a cylindrical sun? Now, thanks to the magic of electric charge, microgravity, and awesome astronaut Don Pettit, you can see for yourself. Watch tiny liquid planets 'orbit' a knitting needle, and find out why they do.
When you're aboard the International Space Station, every day (understandably) brings new excitement. NASA astronaut and chemical engineer Don Pettit has been documenting these small daily wonders along with the American Physical Society on YouTube.
Don Pettit, on the international space station, swiped everyone's candy corn - for science! In this video, with candy corn, water, and oil, he shows how soap molecules clean people's clothes. Then he pigs out on the candy corn.
This movie was taken by Don Pettit on the International Space Station - it's a time-lapse view of the Earth zooming by. You can see the northern lights glowing in the atmosphere, over illuminated cities. Gorgeous.