Experiments in the Columbus Laboratory
The Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL) is an all-rounder in methods for observing liquid substances. The FSL can provide high-quality images as well as video sequences with high-temporal resolution. Interferometric and schlieren techniques are available to analyze samples.
In zero gravity, surface tension becomes one of the dominant forces in liquids, causing the well-known spherical shape that astronauts always like to demonstrate: Like soap bubbles on Earth, drops of beverage fly through the spacecraft and are “sucked up” by the crew.
An experiment has also been conducted in FSL that simulated the Earth’s core in the liquid inner Earth: By eliminating convection currents in zero gravity, the model system could be adapted to the conditions on the real Earth and mathematical models could be verified accordingly.