Nickelodeon, the kid-focused network responsible for countless fond TV memories, recently sent its iconic slime to the International Space Station (ISS). In the video below (via CNN), astronauts Christina Koch and Luca Parmitano are shown messing around with the green goop. And it was all done to teach children about the effects of microgravity.
According to a Nickelodeon press release, the network sent slime to the ISS “to see how [it], and water, react in a microgravity environment.” Nickelodeon refers to the above video as a “free 15-minute virtual field trip,” as it lets children experience what it’s like to be aboard a spacecraft traveling at 4.76 miles per second, 250 miles above Earth.
During the experiment, Koch and Parmitano take turns playing with the slime, which is pushed out of bags, squeezed out of syringes, and popped out of balloons. That last method of exposing uncontained slime to microgravity is definitely the best. Because while it seems like the slime would immediately disperse, it instead maintains its wiggly yet uniform spherical shape.
Bring on the slime! 🤪— NASA (@NASA) May 5, 2020
Take a virtual field trip to the @Space_Station to see @Nickelodeon’s classic green slime react in zero-gravity and recreate your own space slime fun with #NASAatHome using these educational activities and games: https://t.co/2SAXGI0yjz pic.twitter.com/rUPWqTy5Xs
According to NASA astronaut Don Pettit, who’s featured in the video, this tendency for both the water and slime to remain spherical occurs because “when you go into orbit, you effectively remove the gravitational force….” He adds that, as a result, “surface tension force can now dominate.” (Keep in mind that 90% of Earth’s gravity is actually experienced on the ISS; things aboard the space station remain weightless due to the fact that it is constantly falling around Earth.)
For those unfamiliar with slime, it is frequently used by Nickelodeon programs as a way of punishing, or rewarding, people in a hilarious, safe way. According to Teen Vogue, Nickelodeon slime is made up of equal parts oatmeal, applesauce, and vanilla pudding, plus 3-4 drops of green food coloring. Which makes getting slimed in space sound even more enticing?
Feature image: Nickelodeon