“CORK”ing in microgravity

It was not exactly “CORK”-ing. However, I just returned from a “holey” awesome experience with some of my student at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland where the students dropped their microgravity experiment (DIME Competition http://microgravity.grc.nasa.gov/DIME.html) down an 8-story hole in the 2.2-second Drop Tower to see if it was possible to detect differences in molecular rotation in microgravity. Later, as we passed lab after lab of past and ongoing experiments testing space conditions, I was proud of our scientists. We stood in a huge wind tunnel and peered down the larger 5.2 second Drop Tower (500 ft). That is a drop that is as long as the JR! By the way, the air in this hole is removed down to 0.05 torr (good vacuum) to reduce drag. Soon I will be exploring, not small pressure of this hole, but the huge pressure at the ocean bottom while learning about placing experiments in ocean floor “holes.” Be sure to keep checking the JR website for upcoming news about this next exciting expedition! Picture: Peering down the NASA Zero Gravity Research Center Drop Tower.

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