On September 21, Chinese astronauts Gui Haichao and Zhu Yangzhu embarked on a bold experiment in space, challenging internationally accepted safety norms.
From the Tiangong space station, they live-streamed themselves lighting a candle to demonstrate how flames behave in the microgravity environment of low Earth orbit.
During the broadcast, they showed that, contrary to the teardrop shape flames take on Earth, they become nearly spherical in space due to the absence of buoyancy-driven convection that usually directs flames upward with hot air rising and cold air descending.
Live fire experiment on Tiangong station challenges safety norms
This experiment was part of the fourth installment of “Tiangong Classroom,” a series of live lessons from space.
The challenge to established safety conventions didn’t go unnoticed, as the International Space Station (ISS) has strict fire safety rules prohibiting exposure to open flames outside specially designed compartments to contain them.
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These rules were set in response to a fire incident on the Russian space station Mir in 1997, resulting in a perilous situation for the crew aboard.
The daringness of the Chinese astronauts not only challenged space norms but also displayed a different approach towards experimentation in space.
This act, challenging accepted safety norms, was carried out in an effort to educate the public about the science of fire in space. The live stream allowed viewers worldwide to witness how flames behave differently in space compared to Earth.
The experiment was a bold initiative highlighting the ambition of the Chinese space program, showing the world how flames behave in microgravity.
However, it also highlighted the differences in safety protocols between international space agencies and the Chinese space agency.
While the experiment was seen as a challenge to space norms, it also offered a unique educational opportunity and a glimpse into how research and education could be conducted in space, even under circumstances that challenge accepted norms.
With information from Fox News