“A Wet Towel In Space Is Not Like A Wet Towel On Earth,” by Robert Krulwich, published on April 21, 2013 8:00 AM, illustrates the cohesive and adhesive properties of water in a zero-G environment.
When my Wife first brought this post opt my attention, I remarked, “Oh, the water will just break off in little droplets, sort of like bubbles do, and just float off into space.” And that is true, you can see water doing just this in this video. However, what most of the water does is entirely different. I should also admit that I didn’t know, or would have believed that water would have done this, although in retrospect, it was obvious. Then again, that’s the key thing about retrospect.
You just don’t know (because who’s going to tell you?) that when you leave Earth, travel outside its gravitational reach, hundreds and hundreds of everyday things — stuff you’ve never had to think about — will change. Like … oh, how about a wet wash cloth?
Two high school students in Nova Scotia, Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner, asked Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield (who is orbiting the planet right now) what would it be like to dip a wash cloth in water, (they suggested he clump it into a bottle, then pull it out) and squeeze it.
On Earth, a really wet wash cloth, squeezed tight, will drip, right?
Up on the International Space Station, wet wash cloths don’t drip. What they do is like nothing I’d imagined.