Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield Performs Winning Science Experiment with Nova Scotia School

Longueuil, Quebec, April 16, 2013 – Today, during a live connection from aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Commander Chris Hadfield performed a science experiment designed by Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner, two grade 10 students from Lockview High School in Fall River, Nova Scotia.

Last fall, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) asked young Canadians to design a simple science experiment that astronaut Hadfield could perform in space. Using items already available aboard the Station and assisted by their science teacher, John Munro, Lemke and Faulkner tried to imagine how a microgravity environment could influence an experiment. Their experiment "Ring it out" investigates the effects of weightlessness on the reaction of water after being wrung out of a soaked washcloth. Their hypothesis that the water would not drip in microgravity but rather remain on the washcloth was proven correct. In the absence of gravity to pull the water down, it took a shake or a quick squeeze from Commander Hadfield for the washcloth to release the water.

Since arriving on Station, Hadfield has conducted over 130 international and Canadian science experiments with his crewmates.

"The space station is an orbiting laboratory where we work on unique experiments that may eventually improve life on Earth," he said before adding that he was extremely proud to be performing an experiment designed by young Canadians. Addressing the winners and their 1200 classmates gathered at the school's gymnasium, he added: "I was about your age when I decided I wanted to become an astronaut. I hope that you remember today and continue to be curious about science and space. You are the space explorers of the future and the sky is no longer the limit".

Lockview High School science teacher, John Munro, commented on the contest: "The Canadian Science Challenge was a great tool to teach about space, science and weightlessness in my class. In addition, having this opportunity to speak live to Commander Hadfield from space was a special treat the students will remember for a long time and may influence their future career paths".

The CSA's contest ran from September 14 to December 31, 2012.  Almost 100 experiments from across Canada were submitted. A CSA panel of judges that included CSA Astronaut Jeremy Hansen selected "Ring it out" as the winning school experiment. A second category was open to individuals who wished to take part in the contest from home. Linda Dao from Mississauga, Ontario, won the "At Home" category with her experiment on "Minimizing surface tension in microgravity".  Dao will receive a personal phone call from Commander Hadfield congratulating her on her experiment.

About Expedition 34/35

On December 19, 2012, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield lifted off to the ISS for a five-month stay. Working alongside American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts, they conducted science experiments, tested new technologies and berthed commercial re-supply spacecraft using Canadarm2. On March 13, 2013, Hadfield became the first Canadian to command the ISS – an important milestone in Canada's space flight history. Hadfield is scheduled to land at 10:30 p.m. EDT on May 13, 2013 after 146 days in space.

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