Ottawa, Ontario, September 14, 2012 (CSA PR)— Can astronauts play hockey in space? Today astronaut Jeremy Hansen along with a grade 7 classroom, conducted a science experiment using a roll of scotch tape, pencils, a writing pad and a paper clip as part of an experiment to see if hockey could be played in zero-gravity. The hockey experiment is part of a new contest by the Canadian Space Agency that will see one lucky classroom’s experiment performed by Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station and streamed live on the Internet to the whole world, during a unique Earth to space connection at the winners’ school.
Using a list of materials already on board the International Space Station, like socks, dental floss, scissors, bottles of shampoo, water or even mustard, creative Canadians can design an experiment which, although simple to execute on Earth, could have interesting effects in zero-gravity.
“The International Space Station is an orbiting laboratory where dozens of experiments are performed every day. It makes a great science classroom,” said astronaut Hadfield from Houston where he is training for his upcoming mission. “I look forward to connecting with a classroom from space and conducting the experiment the students have designed.”
“The Canadian Science Challenge makes science accessible and fun, and encourages younger generations to become more interested in science and technology,” said Hansen as he worked on the hockey experiment with the students from Steve MacLean High School gathered at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.
Daniel Rey, a CSA Engineer who’s worked on DEXTRE one of Canada’s space robots, was also at the launch. Rey won a similar science experiment when he was in grade 12. “My experiment opened my eyes and mind to the wonders of space. It truly inspired me to pursue an engineering career.”
The contest runs from September 14 to December 31, 2012. A panel of scientists and astronauts will pick the 10 best submissions from across Canada. During the last two weeks of January, videos of top 10 finalists will be posted on CSA’s YouTube page where Canadians will be encouraged to vote for their favourite experiment. CSA will announce the winner in February.
Entries must be received by December 31, 2012 and the contest is only open to Canadians under the age of 19. Canadian classrooms or teams of students in a school can participate through the “At School” category. The contest is also open to Canadians wishing to participate individually as part of the “At Home” category. The winner of the At Home category will receive a telephone call from Hadfield from space.
For more information on the contest and contest rules, visit the CSA website.
On December 5, 2012, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will lift off to the International Space Station. He’ll make the orbital laboratory his home for nearly six months, working alongside five American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts as they conduct science experiments, test new technologies and berth commercial re-supply spacecraft using Canadarm2. During the second half of his mission, Hadfield will become the first Canadian to command the ISS – an important milestone in Canada’s space flight history.