Astronauts on the ISS Put a GoPro in a Sphere of Water


Being up on the International Space Station isn't all work (although the scientific experiments they've run are pretty cool!). There's some time to play around, too, as you can see in this video of NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst popping a sealed GoPro camera into a bubble of water. Technically, what they're doing is "explor[ing] the phenomenon of water surface tension in microgravity," but it just looks like a lot of fun to us.

Astronauts also filmed the action in 3D as part of an initiative to show people back on Earth a more realistic view of what it's like to live and work in the ISS (you'll need red-blue stereoscopic 3D vision glasses to watch these videos). The 3D camera was sent up with the crew of STS-351 in 2011 to document the last flight of the space shuttle and has been in orbit since then.

According to Rodney Grubbs, the program manager for NASA's Imagery Experts Program at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, "shooting in 3D hasn't changed much in 50 or 60 years. The camera still has two distinct left and right lenses, but now we record to two separate flash memory cards, one for the left camera eye and one for the right. We don’t have to transmit taped footage and re-record it here. We can simply download an exact copy of those digital files to the ground, merge them in our editing software here, and create the same 3D image they had in orbit."