Astronaut Don Pettit Shares Passion For Science from Space

NASA astronaut Don Pettit, currently on the ISS as a member of the Expedition 30 crew, will use everyday objects from Earth to demonstrate physics through "Science off the Sphere" presentations for viewers on Earth.  Photo Credit: NASA

NASA astronaut Don Pettit, currently on the ISS as a member of the Expedition 30 crew, will use everyday objects from Earth to demonstrate physics through "Science off the Sphere" presentations for viewers on Earth. Photo Credit: NASA

HOUSTON — NASA and the American Physical Society (APS) have begun a
partnership to share videos from the International Space Station with
students, educators and science fans around the world. NASA astronaut
Don Pettit, currently on the orbiting outpost as a member of the
Expedition 30 crew, will use everyday objects from Earth to
demonstrate physics through “Science off the Sphere” presentations.

Space fans know Pettit from his previous science demonstrations
performed in space, such as the “Zero G Coffee Cup” from the space
shuttle’s STS-126 mission in 2008. This time he has added a physics
challenge for viewers. Some episodes of “Science off the Sphere” will
end with a question. APS will review the responses and identify a
winner. Pettit will announce the winner from aboard the station.

APS, the professional society for physicists, plans to ignite interest
in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by sharing the
“Science off the Sphere” videos on its outreach website, Physics
Central. The website also will feature the physics challenges and
educational content on topics Pettit demonstrates.

Don Pettit on the ISS during Expedition 6, holds a still camera as he looks through the nadir window in the Destiny laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS). The islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura of the Canary Island chain in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco are visible.  Photo Credit: NASA

Don Pettit on the ISS during Expedition 6, holds a still camera as he looks through the nadir window in the Destiny laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS). The islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura of the Canary Island chain in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco are visible. Photo Credit: NASA

Pettit spent more than five and half months on board the station
during Expedition 6 in 2002 and 2003. He returned to space during
STS-126. Most recently, Pettit launched to the orbiting laboratory
Dec. 23 with Russian Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko and European
Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers. The crew joined
Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank of NASA and Russian Flight
Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, who have been on
the station since Nov. 16.

Pettit, Kononenko and Kuipers will remain on the station until May as
members of the Expedition 31 crew. The crew members will support
dozens of experiments during their time aboard the station.

To view Pettit’s science experiments performed during Expedition 6,
visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/spacechronicles

To view Pettit’s “Zero G Coffee Cup” video from STS-126, visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/pettitcoffee

For more information about the International Space Station and its
crew, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

To view APS’ Physics Central website, visit:

http://www.physicscentral.com/sots

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